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Amazon Pushes Back In Court Against India Antitrust Investigation

 |  February 11, 2020

Amazon has fired back in court over antitrust allegations in India, according to a report by Reuters.

Amazon stated a probe by the country’s competition regulator could cause “irreparable” damage to its reputation.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered the probe last month, with persuasion from traditional retailers in India. The retailers claim Amazon broke Indian regulations by discriminating against smaller merchants, and taking billions in losses to help power significant discounts.

A trade group in New Delhi complained that large online marketplaces such as Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart — which is also included in the investigation — were only helping certain sellers and burying smaller ones.

Refuting those charges, Amazon stated in a Monday, February 10, filing that the CCI order “is bereft of any foundation,” and claimed the investigation order “suffers from non-application of mind as it appears to contain no reference to the finding of an appreciable adverse effect on competition.”

The response was filed in a court in Bengaluru. Flipkart, meanwhile, stated it was “fully compliant” with all Indian laws. Amazon will probably be heard in court this week. The trade group has been briefed about it, and reportedly will defend against it so the probe is not dropped.

Amazon has also been affected by new rules regarding foreign investment in the country. When the eCommerce giant announced a US$1 billion investment last month aimed at helping digitize smaller businesses in India, the country’s trade minister said Amazon wasn’t doing a “great favor” to India.

The  statement illustrated the tension between India and Amazon.

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