The Indian online retail market is all set to witness a legal battle between domestic online vendors and e-commerce company Flipkart, which was taken over by US-based retail major Walmart last summer. The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has admitted an appeal by the All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) against an order passed by the Competition Commission of India (CII) giving a clean chit to Flipkart on allegations of indulging in unfair practices using its dominant market position. The AIOVA, a group of over 2000 sellers selling on e-commerce marketplaces such as Flipkart, Amazon, Snapdeal, among others had alleged that Flipkart was abusing its market dominance by showing preference to certain vendors. However, in its order passed in November 2018, the CCI had ruled that after examining the present market construct and structure of online marketplace platforms in India, it does not appear that any one player in the market is commanding any dominant position at this stage of evolution of market. The competition went on to conclude that there was no violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act, which pertains to abuse of dominant market position. However, the vendors association does not intend to back off, taking the case to the NCLAT, which had become the appellate authority for orders passed by the CCI from May 2017. While the association had delayed the filing of an appeal by 12 days, the NCLAT nevertheless admitted the appeal, with the three-member NCLAT bench headed by Chairman Justice S J Mukhopadhaya directing that the matter be listed for hearing on July 30.
The market has generally been slow be it televisions or home appliances. Dishwashers saw a spurt for a couple of months, but the boom seems to be over for that...Read More