The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday slapped Rs.202 crore penalty on Amazon for providing false information and suppressing material particulars in the deal to acquire a stake in Future Coupons Private Ltd (FPCL). The competition watchdog has also suspended the deal.
In 2019, the US-headquartered e-commerce giant Amazon announced the acquisition of 49 percent shareholding in Future Coupons Private Limited, which is a part of Future Group. In a 57-page order, the CCI noted that Amazon suppressed “the actual purpose and particulars” of the 2019 deal.
“As regards the failure to notify combination in terms of the obligation cast under Section 6(2) of the Act, Section 43A of the Act enables the Commission to impose a penalty, which may extend to one percent of the total turnover or the assets, whichever is higher, of such a combination. Accordingly, for the above-mentioned reasons, the Commission hereby imposes a penalty of INR Two Hundred crore upon Amazon,” the CCI said.
The CCI noted that there is a “deliberate design on the part of Amazon to suppress the actual scope and purpose of the Combination, and the Commission finds no mitigating factor.”
“Resultantly, the Commission considers it appropriate to levy the maximum penalty of Rs. 1 crore each under the provisions of Section 44 and Section 45 of Act. Accordingly, Amazon is directed to pay a penalty of Rs.2 crore,” CCI said.
Reacting to the CCI order, trade body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said: “The order of the CCI penalizing Amazon for Rs 200 crores and suspending Future deal is a landmark order and Amazon stands fully exposed for its mal-practices, and a bunch of lies at all levels together with continued violation of laws and the rules.”
The CAIT has requested Union Commerce Minister Piyush Goyal to order for immediate suspension of Amazon portal in India, CAIT Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal said in a statement.