The Supreme Court has granted e-commerce giant Amazon an extension by scheduling the final hearing for December due to the need for a detailed hearing, according to senior counsel Gopal Subramanium.
The SC also said that no recovery proceedings shall be initiated until the next date of hearing, 20 September, in the case.
This has happened against the backdrop of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) imposing a penalty of Rs 202 crore on Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC for not disclosing its interest in Future Retail while investing in Future Coupons.
The CCI had imposed a penalty of Rs 202 crore on Amazon in 2021 for failing to disclose its interest in Future Retail when investing in Future Coupons, which the company had challenged. The apex court had directed Amazon to pay the penalty by mid-February 2022, with two separate penalties of Rs 200 crore and Rs 2 crore imposed in accordance with different sections of the law.
The case had initially been brought to the Karnataka High Court, but was later taken to the Supreme Court by the companies involved after the High Court refused to intervene. The decision was then welcomed by Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal in Parliament.
The investigation against Amazon was initiated in 2020 for its 2019 purchase of 49% stake in a Future group entity by CCI. This was done after a complaint was filed by the Delhi Vyapar Mahasangh (DVM), which alleged that the e-commerce giants were engaging in anti-competitive behaviour by favouring certain sellers over others and entering into exclusive tie-ups with mobile phone manufacturers. The DVM argued that these practices were detrimental to the interests of smaller traders.