NEW DELHI: In a relief for e-tailers, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has rejected allegations of unfair business practices as it did not find prima facie evidence of violations.
Players who were made part of this suit include e-commerce players namely Flipkart, Snapdeal, Amazon, Jabong and Myntra. These players were also dragged to court last month.
The complaints were filed against Flipkart India Pvt Ltd, Jasper Infotech Pvt Ltd (parent firm of Snapdeal), Xerion Retail Pvt Ltd (Jabong), Amazon Seller Services Pvt Ltd and Vector E-commerce Pvt Ltd (Myntra), citing violation of competition norms by indulging in cartelisation or by abusing their dominant position. It was also alleged that these websites and product sellers entered into exclusive agreements to sell products exclusively on select portals.
“...The Commission is of the prima facie view that no case of contravention of the provisions of either section 3 or section 4 of the Act is made out against the opposite parties,” it said.
With regard to exclusive agreements, the CCI said such pacts need not result in appreciable adverse effect on competition.
“It does not seem that such arrangements create any entry barrier for new entrants. It seems very unlikely that an exclusive arrangement between a manufacturer and an e-portal will create any entry barrier as most of the products, which are illustrated in the information to be sold through exclusive e-partners in the information to be sold through exclusive e-partners (OPs) face competitive constraints,” the order said.
Agreeing with the contention of the opposite parties, CCI said every product can’t be taken as a relevant market in itself.
“Irrespective of whether we consider e-portal market as a separate relevant product market or as a sub-segment of the market for distribution, none of the opposite parties seems to be individually dominant...There are several players in the online retail market, which have been arrayed as opposite parties in the present case, offering similar facilities to their customers,” it said.
The regulator said it does not consider it necessary to go into the question of abuse of dominance by the opposite parties.