India’s online sellers to appeal against competition commission’s Flipkart ruling

The Competition Commission of India had said Flipkart as well as Amazon did not break regulations through their selection of merchants and brands. (Reuters)
Updated 12 January 2019
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India’s online sellers to appeal against competition commission’s Flipkart ruling

  • All India Online Vendors Association, which represents more than 3,500 online sellers, had complained that Flipkart was using its dominant position to favor select sellers
  • India has a burgeoning e-commerce market, with almost 500 million Indians using the internet in 2018

MUMBAI: A group representing online sellers in India will appeal against the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI’s) ruling in favor of Walmart-owned Flipkart, the group’s lawyer Chanakya Basa said in a release on Saturday.
All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA), which represents more than 3,500 online sellers, had complained that Flipkart was using its dominant position to favor select sellers. The CCI had rejected this argument in November.
The CCI had said Flipkart as well as Amazon did not break regulations through their selection of merchants and brands.
The AIOVA will appeal to the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Monday against the CCI decision, Basa told Reuters.
“We firmly believe we have filed adequate information to prove the existence of a prima-facie case which the hon’ble Commission has failed to take into account. Hence, we are filing this appeal,” Basa said in a statement.
The AIOVA has also brought a similar case against Amazon, alleging it favors merchants that it partly owns, such as Cloudtail and Appario.
India has a burgeoning e-commerce market, with almost 500 million Indians using the internet in 2018. The market is tipped to grow to $200 billion in a decade, according to Morgan Stanley.


Time to tear down Mideast trade barriers, Davos panel hears

Updated 3 min 25 sec ago
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Time to tear down Mideast trade barriers, Davos panel hears

  • Frictionless borders and unified regulation are a must for economic growth, the World Economic Forum heard

DAVOS: Amid global trade wars and the rise of protectionism, Middle East economic and business leaders on Tuesday issued a clarion call for the exact opposite: To ease customs restrictions in the region.
A panel at Davos heard how an agreement between Saudi Arabia and the UAE to boost cooperation — including the reduction of obstacles to trade across the shared border — could be a blueprint for the wider region.
Mohammad Al-Tuwaijri, Saudi minister of economy and planning, said a move to ease movement of traffic across the border — partly through the use of technology — could be followed elsewhere. “We want to establish a reference for others to follow,” he said.
Alain Bejjani, CEO of retail and leisure group Majid Al Futtaim, said “frictionless trade” would give the region a boost.
“Now there’s this seriousness between Saudi Arabia and the UAE, I hope it gets to frictionless trade,” he told Arab News on the sidelines of the Davos forum.
Bejjani declined to say whether that would involve a customs union, a common market or a common currency. Given the imposition of trade tariffs between the US and China, and the rise of Brexit, globalization — something espoused by many Davos delegates — is seen as on the wane.
But Bejjani said breaking down barriers in the Middle East could help it better compete with Western Europe and the US.
“For the past almost century now… we’ve been ingeniously working on making sure we put barriers across the Arab world. The reality is we have a market that’s as big as most of the largest markets in the world… if we’re smart enough to work together,” he told the Davos panel.
Khalid Al-Rumaihi, chief executive of the Bahrain Economic Development Board, agreed that Saudi-UAE cooperation was “a great template” for others to follow.
Aside from “opening up” Middle East markets, Al-Rumaihi said harmonizing regulation in the region would also be beneficial to businesses and entrepreneurs.
“If the rules are changing in each country, if they’re not harmonized, it’s very difficult… for an entrepreneur (to understand) the regulatory environment. So they don’t scale very quickly, and that’s something we need to solve,” he said. Talk of freer trade within the Middle East is especially relevant when it comes to the Palestinian territories, which are subject to Israeli occupation and blockade.
Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah said freer movement and a reduction of duties would help the economy grow.
“We need to see our products being waived (of) customs,” he said. “We need mobility — we’re under occupation.”