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.


Iraq parliament approves 2019 budget, one of largest ever

Updated 24 January 2019
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Iraq parliament approves 2019 budget, one of largest ever

  • The budget will be largely funded by oil revenues
  • The 2019 budget is almost 45 percent higher than last year’s budget

BAGHDAD: Iraqi lawmakers on Thursday approved the government’s 2019 budget, which at $111.8 billion is one of the oil-rich country’s largest ever spending bills.
It represents a nearly 45 percent increase from last year and awards even more money for public salaries, including those of the northern Kurdish region.
Nearly 90 percent of the budget comes from oil revenues.
Iraq expects to export 3.9 million barrels per day in 2019, including 250,000 bpd from the Kurdish region, at an average of $56 per barrel.
The current price of crude sits at $63 per barrel.
The deficit is expected to more than double to $23.1 billion, while investments increase to $27.8 billion.
The draft bill was originally submitted to parliament in October but has been fiercely debated since then.
MPs from provinces ravaged by the fight against the Daesh group criticized it for not allocating enough reconstruction funds to their regions.
Another debate raged over the share that would be allotted to the administratively autonomous Kurdish region.
MPs had originally scheduled a session for 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday but delayed it to 7:00 p.m. and voted article by article, finishing just after midnight.
The government proposed $52 billion in salaries, pensions, and social security for state workers — a 15-percent jump from 2018 and more than half the total budget.
Notably, parliament passed a budget measure to fund salaries for the Kurdistan region’s state workers and armed forces, the peshmerga.
The budget also stipulates the Kurdish Regional Government must export 250,000 bpd of crude through state-owned companies and deposit the revenues in federal coffers.
If it didn’t, MP Sarkawt Shamsaddin told AFP, Baghdad would continue to pay salaries but would not disburse other funds to the Kurdish region.
“The good thing is public servants’ salaries and peshmerga are not subject to political disputes,” said Shamsaddin, representing the northeastern Kurdish city of Sulaymaniyah.
Relations between Baghdad and Irbil, the capital of the Kurdish region, soured in 2017 after Kurdish authorities held an independence referendum.
Last year’s budget was approved by parliament in March.
Parliament had also scheduled a vote on two of the five remaining empty cabinet posts in Prime Minister Adel Abdel Mahdi’s government but adjourned without holding it.