All India Online Vendors Association, a trade group representing online merchants in India, vowed to appeal a ruling by the Competition Commission of India that favored Flipkart, the eCommerce company owned by Walmart.
According to a report in Reuters citing the association that speaks for more than 3,500 Internet merchants, the group contended Flipkart was using its leading position to favor some merchants over others. The Competition Commission of India dismissed that argument in November of last year, noted the report. Chanakya Basa, a lawyer for All India Online Vendors, said it will appeal the ruling. According to the Competition Commission Of India, Flipkart and Amazon didn’t break any rules when choosing merchants and brands for their websites.
Basa told Reuters that All India Online Vendors Association plans to appeal to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Monday (January 14). “We firmly believe we have filed adequate information to prove the existence of a prima facie case which the honorable Commission has failed to take into account. Hence, we are filing this appeal,” Basa said in a statement. The trade group previously brought a similar lawsuit against Amazon which said it favors merchants that it owns a stake in, pointing to Cloudtail and Appario, noted Reuters.
Despite the Competition Commission of India’s ruling, the government in India has been cracking down on Amazon and Flipkart. At the end of last year, the government in India implemented new rules for online merchants and changed how they can hawk goods in the country. The new rules go into effect on Feb.1, preventing eCommerce companies from selling products they have an equity interest in. The companies are also prohibited from inking exclusive agreements with sellers. Xiaomi, for one example, is no longer allowed to sell its Mi phones exclusively on Flipkart, which is a common practice in the country during a new smartphone launch.