Anti-trust watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has invited e-commerce sellers and hoteliers who list on online travel agencies to participate in a market study being conducted by it to evaluate if any ongoing activity is obstructing competition in the market.
“The broad objectives of the study are — to understand business practices in e-commerce, their underlying rationale and implications for competition and to identify impediments to competition, if any,” said CCI in a letter to the sellers.
Moneycontrol has seen a copy of the letter.
Associations such as All India Online Vendors Association and National Restaurant Association of India have been sent the invitations.
Interestingly, the development comes a few days after the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) admitted a petition filed by AIOVA challenging the six-month old order of CCI absolving Walmart-owned Flipkart of using any unfair means to do business.
In November, CCI had ruled that the business practices of Flipkart and Amazon were not violating competition norms much against the expectations of the vendor associations.
However, in its letter, CCI has categorically denied this development has anything to do with any proceedings pending with it.
“It is clarified that this exercise is a general market study and does not form a part of any investigation and/or inquiry in any of the proceedings pending before CCI,” it said in the letter.
According to CCI, the idea behind conducting such a study is to develop a better understanding of the market with E&Y as the implementing partner for the consultations.
However, even though CCI has stated that the market studies are pure information gathering mission, it may bring some jitters in the corridors of the incumbent e-commerce players in the country.
These consultations with multiple stakeholders are expected to go on for at least next few months.―Money Control