Karnataka HC stays CCI probe against Amazon, Flipkart
The Karnataka High Court on Friday ordered a stay on the Competition Commission of India's (CCI) probe into violation of competition laws by e-commerce giants Amazon and Flipkart.
 
The court has asked the respondents in the matter including CCI and Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) to file their responses within eight weeks.
 
The High Court was of the view that the ongoing investigation by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) should be first be completed. Last year, the ED initiated insvestigation against both Amazon and Flipkart for alleged violation of the foreign exchange law.
 
Amazon had on Monday filed a writ petition in the Karnataka High Court seeking stay on the CCI probe order into its alleged violations of the competition laws. The anti-trust body had in January had ordered an enquiry into the operations of both Amazon and Flipkart on multiple counts, including deep discounts and exclusive tie-ups with preferred sellers.
 
In its plea, Amazon had sought "quashing and setting aside" of the CCI's probe order dated January 13, 2020, claiming that the fair competition watchdog passed orders against the company without applying mind and caused serious loss to its reputation.
 
Amazon had pleaded for an interim stay on the proceedings as the balance of convenience for stay lies in favour of the petitioner as a bonafide company.
 
In its order, the CCI had said that it needs to be investigated whether the alleged exclusive arrangements, deep discounting and preferential listing by Amazon and Flipkart are being used as an exclusionary tactic to foreclose competition. Also, it needs to be seen if such practices are resulting in an appreciable adverse effect on competition, contravening the provisions of Section 3(1) read with Section 3(4) of the Competition Act.
 
"In view of the foregoing, the Commission is of the opinion that there exists a prima facie case which requires an investigation by the Director General (DG), to determine whether the conduct of the OPs (Amazon and Flipkart) have resulted in contravention of the provisions of Section 3(1) of the Act read with Section 3(4) thereof, as detailed in this order," the CCI's January order said.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    SC on AGR: Not a penny paid; summons telcos bosses
    The Supreme Court on Friday came down heavily on the telecom companies for not paying dues to the tune of Rs 1.47 lakh crore to the government and summoned their top executives to court to explain, why the top court order on clearing dues was not followed.
     
    A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra also warned the telecom companies that the court may initiate contempt proceedings against them and government officials for not complying with it's order.
     
    The top court has ordered the managing directors of Bharti Airtel , Vodafone, MTNL, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Tata Telecommunication and others to be present in the court on March 17.
     
    The top court also directed the Centre to immediately withdraw order passed by its desk officer to not take coercive action against the telecom companies. 
     
    Justice Mishra also added that the telecom companies haven't even paid a single penny and the government officer wants stay on the order. 
     
    The top court warned that this officer was liable to jail term if that order was not withdrawn within an hour.
     
    A bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra had ordered telecom companies to pay adjusted gross revenue (AGR) to the government.
     
    On January 16, Justice Mishra-led bench had dismissed review petitions of telcos seeking review of its earlier order asking them to pay Rs 1.47 lakh crore in statutory dues by January 23, saying it did not find any "justifiable reason" to entertain them.
     
    The top court had on October 24 last year ruled that the statutory dues needed to be calculated by including non-telecom revenues in AGR of telcos.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    China smartphone sales may decline 20% in Q1: Counterpoint
    In the wake of the novel coronavirus outbreak, sales of smartphones in China may decline 20 per cent in the first quarter of this year, according to an estimate by Counterpoint Research on Thursday.
     
    While companies like Huawei, OPPO and Vivo could suffer the most due to this decline, the impact may be limited on smartphone makers like Xiaomi, OnePlus and Realme "as they are more online-centric and overseas-focused".
     
    The novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which originated in China's Wuhan area in December 2019 has impacted social and production activities in the country.
     
    To curb the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, the Chinese government issued a strict travel ban on January 24 following which retail and commerce activities slowed sharply, Counterpoint said. 
     
    "Demand-wise, we see the market getting impacted severely. We estimate more than a 50 per cent YoY (year-onyear) decline in offline smartphone sales during the lock-down period. Therefore, we have lowered our sales forecast 20 per cent for Q1," Brady Wang, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, said in a statment.
     
    "The situation may worsen and we may lower our forecast even more depending on the February sales. The plummet in Q1 is likely to generate a surge in channel inventories and further influence shipments and new products launches through Q2," Wang said. 
     
    The coronavirus outbreak has led to the death of over 1,300 people in China.
     
    "Huawei group is likely to suffer as China has accounted for over 60 per cent of its total smartphones sales. OPPO and Vivo will also be impacted because of their greater reliance on offline sales channels. The influence on sales of Xiaomi, OnePlus and Realme will likely be less severe as they are more online-centric and overseas-focused," Flora Tang, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, said. 
     
    As Apple announced a shutdown of its offline stores across China until February 15, the company could face a sales loss of about one million units of iPhones. 
     
    "Apple's new product development plans will also be affected as engineers from the USA and Taiwan cannot travel to China. The iPhone SE2 set for a late March launch is likely to have troubles in ramping up volume due to the insufficient labour force in Foxconn's Zhengzhou factory," Mengmeng Zhang, Research Analyst at Counterpoint Research, added.
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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