India watchdog accuses Amazon of concealing facts in deal for Future Group unit

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India’s antitrust regulator has accused Amazon.com Inc of concealing facts and making false submissions when it sought approval for a 2019 investment in a Future Group unit, a letter to the U.S. e-commerce giant seen by Reuters showed.

The letter complicates Amazon’s bitter legal battle with Future Group over the Indian’s firm’s decision to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries – a matter that is now before India’s Supreme Court.

Amazon has argued that terms agreed upon in its 2019 deal to pay $192 million for a 49% stake in Future’s gift voucher unit prevent its parent, Future Group, from selling its Future Retail Ltd business to Reliance.

In the letter dated June 4, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said Amazon hid factual aspects of the transaction by not revealing its strategic interest in Future Retail when it sought approval for the 2019 deal.

In the four-page letter, a so-called ‘show cause notice’, the CCI asked Amazon why it should not take action and penalise the company for providing false information.

Amazon said in a statement to Reuters it had received a letter, was committed to complying with India’s laws and would extend its full cooperation to the CCI.

Shares in Future Retail jumped after Reuters published details of the letter, extending gains to be up nearly 5% in Thursday afternoon trade.

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