Type to search

Amazon and Flipkart Fail In Last-Ditch Bid to Thwart India Antitrust Probe

Flipkart led the pack by buying back Esops worth ₹600 crore, or $80 million. Photo: Reuters

• Walmart-owned e-commerce giant and Amazon rebuffed by Supreme Court judges

• E-retailers also facing investigations over alleged foreign investment law violations


India’s Supreme Court ruled on Monday that antitrust investigations into the business practices of Amazon.com Inc and Walmart’s Flipkart will be allowed to continue.

In a critical setback for the two e-commerce giants, which had urged the court to put the cases on hold, a three-judge bench said companies like Amazon and Flipkart should volunteer for such investigations.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) ordered the investigation against the companies last year for allegedly promoting select sellers on their e-commerce platforms and using business practices that stifle competition. 


Also on AF: Three Reasons It All Went Wrong at India’s Vodafone Idea


The companies deny any wrongdoing and have mounted several legal challenges in the country’s lower courts and at the Supreme Court against the investigation, saying the CCI did not have enough evidence to pursue the matter.

But Justice Ramana said on Monday: “We expect organisations like Amazon and Flipkart, big organisations, to volunteer for inquiry and transparency. We expect that. You have to submit and an inquiry has to be conducted.”



The decision is a major setback for both Amazon and Flipkart as the Supreme Court appeal was seen as the last legal recourse to block the CCI pressing on with its investigation. 

The companies are also grappling with the prospects of tougher e-commerce regulations and investigations by the country’s financial-crime agency for alleged violation of foreign investment laws.


  • Reporting by Reuters and Sean O’Meara


Read more:

Flipkart Faces $1.35bn Fine Threat Over Alleged Foreign Investment Law Breaches

Amazon ‘Concealed Facts’ in Future Deal Claims Indian Watchdog



Sean O'Meara

Sean O'Meara is an Editor at Asia Financial. He has been a newspaper man for more than 30 years, working at local, regional and national titles in the UK as a writer, sub-editor, page designer and print editor. A football, cricket and rugby fan, he has a particular interest in sports finance.


AF China Bond