InGovern flagged the hiring of a former CCI member, Anku Sharma, by Flipkart and raised questions on the CCI’s earlier investigation of the ecommerce giant
The proxy advisory firm said Sharma’s move to Flipkart raises substantial doubt about whether the investigations done by the competition watchdog were impartial or not
Flipkart and Amazon have been on the CCI's radar since 2020, given the allegations of monopolisation and anti-competitive business practices by the two
Proxy advisory firm InGovern has written to the Ministry of Finance and the Competition Commission of India (CCI), calling for a fresh investigation into the antitrust issues at ecommerce giants Flipkart and Amazon.
The advisory firm has also called for taking ‘appropriate measures’ to address any aberrations at the CCI.
According to a report by Financial Express, InGovern has pointed to the hiring of a former CCI member, Anku Sharma, by Flipkart. Sharma, a former key member of the CCI team responsible for investigating Flipkart, joined Flipkart-Walmart as an antitrust subject matter expert in March 2023.
InGovern said Sharma’s move to Flipkart raises substantial doubt about whether the investigations done by the competition watchdog were impartial or not.
“There is a high probability that the investigation by CCI may have been compromised during the period Sharma was part of the investigation team at the CCI. The entire chain of events is highly suspicious, something that casts a cloud of doubt over the impartiality of the investigation, and therefore, the entire findings of the CCI during Sharma’s tenure should be deemed compromised,” InGovern said in a statement.
To be sure, Flipkart and Amazon have been on the CCI’s radar since 2020, given the allegations of monopolisation and anti-competitive business practices by the two.
The CCI took action against Amazon in some cases, particularly in the case of Cloudtail and other in-house sellers. On the other hand, Flipkart has also been under investigation for similar links to platform sellers, which is prohibited under the new ecommerce rules.
The ecommerce giants have faced allegations of abuse of dominant market positions and providing preferential treatment to specific sellers for years in India.
Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders has also been a strong critic of Amazon and Flipkart for alleged violations of the country’s laws.