E-sellers file plea at CCI against Flipkart

Mumbai, May 22: The All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA), a body representing more than 3,500 online sellers who sell on emarketplaces, has filed a petition with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against Flipkart, alleging that the e-tailer is favouring its own private brands and select merchants like WS Retail.
AIOVA has asked the CCI to investigate what it calls adverse effects of Flipkart Marketplace, which is “indulging in unfair and discriminatory practice”, and offering discounts and predatory pricing through its wholesale arm and some of its own private labels. Flipkart India is a wholesale dealer with its own brands such as Billion, Marq and Smartbuy. It also sources products from various brands and sells it to merchants such as WS Retail, an AIOVA statement said.
When contacted by TOI, Flipkart did not comment on the development.
The seller association had approached the CCI last year as well, but has now filed a petition. It also plans to highlight the same issue they are facing with Amazon and its merchants like Cloudtail and Appario Retail as well as its line of private labels.
AIOVA’s counsel Chanakya Basa has said in the petition that the seller body believes Flipkart is the dominant player in a relevant market and has abused its dominant position under sec 4(a), which is imposing unfair or discriminatory condition in purchase or sale of goods.
This petition may be considered in Walmart’s application for combination with Flipkart. However, it has no reference to Walmart or any other suitor of Flipkart, the petition said.