CCI accuses Amazon of hiding facts, making false submissions in Future Group unit deal

The CCI’s powers include directions to re-file the approval application as well as revocation of the approval under exceptional circumstances, says Vaibhav Choukse.

As reported by Reuters, a four-page letter dated June 4, signed by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has accused the US-based e-commerce giant Amazon of hiding facts and making false submissions when it sought approval for an investment in a 2019 Future Group unit deal.

The letter emphasized, “the representations and conduct of Amazon before the commission amounts to misrepresentation, making false statement and suppression or/and concealment of material facts.”

In addition, it said that its review of the submissions made had been prompted by one of Future Group’s complaints. The CCI has asked the e-commerce giant the reason it should refrain from charging and penalizing the company for providing false information.

Moreover, in a statement to Reuters, Amazon informed that it had received the letter and was committed to complying with the laws of India along with extending its full cooperation to the CCI. It further added, “We are confident that we will be able to address the CCI’s concerns.”

According to Reuters, the letter has complicated Amazon’s legal struggle with Future Group over the India-based firm’s decision to sell its assets to Reliance Industries i.e. RELI.NS, an issue that is now before the country’s apex court.

Vaibhav Choukse, who is a competition law specialist as well as a partner at J. Sagar associates said it was not common for the CCI to issue such a notice and that if the antitrust regulatory body was left unsatisfied with Amazon’s response, it could end up leading to a fine or a review of the deal.

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