Indian court asked by Amazon to not resume antitrust probe.
On Thursday, Amazon asked an Indian court that a Reuters special report into the e-commerce giant's business practices should not be considered as substantiation, as India's competition watchdog sought to lift an injunction on an anti-trust probe.
The Reuters report showed that the U.S. firm provided privileged treatment to a small group of sellers on its platform, circumventing foreign investment rules meant to protect India's small retailers from being crushed by e-commerce giants.
The Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) order of investigation into Amazon and Walmart's Flipkart in January 2020 followed a complaint from a trader group, but a court put it on hold in February last year after the companies argued there was no evidence that they were causing harm to competition.
Last month, in a hearing seeking to lift the injunction on the probe, CCI counsel read parts of the Reuters special report to a judge in Karnataka High Court, saying that it substantiated what was said in the original complaint the watchdog received.
The CCI also submitted the media clippings, including the Reuters story, as a part of its submission to the court.
On Thursday, Amazon's counsel Gopal Subramanium told the court that Amazon did not agree with Reuters' story and the CCI could not use it as a proof because the article was published months after CCI ordered its investigation.
The Reuters report, which was published in February and was based on internal company documents dated between 2012 and 2019, disclosed that Amazon for years helped a small number of sellers to prosper on its platform, giving them discounted fees and helping one cut special deals with big tech manufacturers.