Paytm Gets a Stay from HC Against Snapdeal Arm

Court re­strains Uni­com­merce from us­ing al­leged info de­rived from Paytm sellers

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New Delhi | Ben­galuru: The Delhi High Court has granted some re­lief to mo­bile mar­ket­place Paytm by re­strain­ing a unit of ri­val Snapdeal from us­ing any in­for­ma­tion de­rived from sellers trans­act­ing on the Paytm plat­form.

Paytm, which counts Alibaba as an in­vestor, has filed a suit al­leg­ing that con­fi­den­tial data re­lat­ing to Paytm has been ac­cessed by Snapdeal through its unit Uni­com­merce, al­low­ing it an un­fair ad­van­tage. Uni­com­merce de­nies the al­le­ga­tion.

The court also di­rected Uni­com­merce to pull down its YouTube ad­ver­tise­ment and/or mod­ify it to re­move the Paytm logo. Uni­com­merce, which pro­vides the soft­ware that helps op­er­ate on­line mar­ket­places, how­ever, claimed that the “re­liefs sought (by Paytm) have not been granted. We wel­come the honourable court’s in­terim or­der. While the mat­ter is sub-ju­dice, we be­lieve that the al­le­ga­tions made are clearly un­founded and spec­u­la­tive.”

The case will be heard next on July 11.

Snapdeal’s main in­vestor is Ja­pan’s Soft­Bank. It com­petes with Flip­kart, Ama­zon, ShopClues and Paytm. It did not im­me­di­ately com­ment. Ecom­merce com­pa­nies, par- tic­u­larly on­line re­tail­ers rely heav­ily on data and view it as a source of com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage. If forms the ba­sis of strat­egy, is a source of rev­enue, and can even make the dif­fer­ence be­tween the suc­cess and fail­ure of busi­ness.

While data is guarded jeal­ously, new-econ­omy com­pa­nies have shown that they are not shy of le­gal fights to se­cure or pro­tect what they be­lieve are their rights. Last month, ride­hail­ing app Uber sued ri­val Ola, ac­cus­ing it of a cam­paign of dirty tricks de­signed to sub­vert its busi­ness, al­le­ga­tions that Ola de­nies. Ho­tel rooms ag­gre­ga­tor OYO went to court al­leg­ing that ri­val ZO was steal­ing its soft­ware, but the two of them later de­cided to merge.

In blog post on its web­site head­lined, “We dis­cour­age the use of Uni­com­merce!” Paytm said it has in­formed sellers trans­act­ing on its plat­form that us­ing Uni­com­merce was pro­hib­ited.

“If we find any of our part­ners us­ing Uni­com­merce ser­vices, we would take strict ac­tion in­clud­ing but not limited to im­pos­ing penal­ties or block­ing the con­cerned part­ner en­tirely,” Paytm said.

It did not im­me­di­ately pro­vide com­ment on Thurs­day’s court hear­ing.

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