Saturday, July 13, 2024

India to speed up antitrust probe against Amazon and Flipkart


Other cases involving large tech companies are also getting a priority.


What you need to know

  • The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is reportedly planning to expedite its antitrust probe against Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart.
  • The antitrust watchdog is expected to demand information from the two companies “as quickly as possible.”
  • It is also reviewing allegations of Google abusing its Android TV dominance in the country’s smart TV market.

The Competition Commission of India is planning to expedite its probe into allegations of Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart engaging in anti-competitive behavior, according to a report from Reuters.

India’s antitrust watchdog had initiated a probe against the two companies in January last year, but the duo was successful in getting a stay order from the Karnataka High Court just a month later. It was only last week that a court allowed the probe to resume, dismissing pleas by the e-commerce giants to quash the probe.

The CCI’s probe will look into allegations of the two companies stifling competition by offering deep discounts on products and giving preferential treatment to some sellers on their e-commerce platforms. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters that the CCI plans to demand information related to the allegations from the e-commerce giants “as quickly as possible.” However, it could still take a few months for the CCI to complete the investigation. It usually takes several months for such investigations to be completed in India.

The CCI is also said to speeding up other cases involving large tech companies by “deploying additional officers and working to more stringent internal deadlines.” Aside from the two e-commerce giants, the antitrust watchdog is also looking into allegations that Google abused the dominant position of its Android TV OS, which powers some of the best smart TVs. More recently, the CCI ordered an investigation into WhatsApp’s privacy policy update for breaching the country’s antitrust laws.

The news comes just days after U.S. lawmakers introduced new bills targeting Amazon, Google, Apple, Facebook, and other tech giants. The bills aim to weaken their dominance and hold them accountable for anti-competitive behavior.

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