SC stays NCLAT order for CCI probe against Flipkart

Predatory pricing is an issue to be considered against the dominant player as a case of abuse of power but Flipkart has not been held as a dominant player, said senior advocate Harish Salve, appearing for Flipkart.

(File photo)
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New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed a National Company Law Appellate Tribunal order that had asked the Competition Commission to probe afresh charges of predatory pricing levelled against ecommerce company Flipkart India.

“This will jeopardise their business interests,” a three-judge bench led by Chief Justice of India SA Bobde said, staying the March 4 NCLAT order. The bench issued notices to the CCI and the All India Online Vendors Association to formally place their submissions on the issues involved.

Flipkart’s case was argued by senior advocate Harish Salve, who said NCLAT could not have ordered a probe into alleged predatory pricing after CCI ruled that the company did not have a dominant position in the market. He said only a dominant player could abuse his position. Flipkart is not the biggest player and can’t operate independently of competitive forces, he said.

The bench agreed with him that the NCLAT should have made a finding on the dominant position; that is, reversed the findings of the CCI before it pronounced on predatory pricing.
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