India revokes approval for Amazon’s largest e-tail alliance • The Register

India’s competition regulator has revoked its approval for Amazon.com’s alliance with local retail giant Future Group, claiming that the American company falsified quite a bit in filings about the deal.

Future Group operates over 1,500 retail stores in India spanning high-speed consumer goods, electronics and even the Indian stores of legendary UK newsstand and multi-company WH Smith.

In 2019, Amazon acquired 49 percent of Future Coupons, a payment provider that offers gift cards and other products. The deal was seen as an opportunity for Amazon to break into the Indian retail market and appeared to be bearing fruit as Amazon was named the sole e-tailer for some of the Future Group’s brands.

However, the Future Group later sold its retail and wholesale operations to Reliance, the giant corporation so powerful that Google worked with it on a special version of Android tailored for Indian users.

Amazon declined this transaction on the grounds that its contracts with the Future Group had been breached and recently won a suspension of the Future / Reliance deal.

Future then complained to the Indian Competition Commission (CCI) about their original deal with Amazon.

Last Friday the IHK placed an order [PDF] Revoke the authorization of the Amazon / Future Coupons Deal 2019.

The reason for the withdrawal of the commission is essentially the conviction that Amazon lied about the deal. The order does not let up in the description of Amazon’s behavior.

The order contains more in the same vein: Amazon’s internal correspondence outlines plans to work with Future Coupons that the company did not disclose to the regulator.

Failure to disclose such matters is not permitted under India’s competition law, so the regulator has withdrawn its prior approval.

Indian media reports that they cannot find any previous example of the CCI withdrawing consent to such a deal. Amazon is reportedly digesting the CCI report before deciding on its next action.

Amazon will also reach for its checkbook as the CCI fined roughly $ 26 million for the counterfeit in its filings. ®


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