The Competition Commission of India on Friday suspended a deal between e-commerce company Amazon and Indian conglomerate Future Group. The decision was taken owing to allegations that Amazon had concealed information about while seeking approval for it from the country’s statutory antitrust watchdog, the Economic Times reported.
The commission said that it is necessary “to examine the combination [deal] afresh”. It said that the deal will remain in abeyance till the matter is resolved.
The regulator has also imposed a penalty of Rs 200 crore on Amazon for allegedly concealing the actual scope of the deal, and making “false and incorrect statements” while applying for approvals.
A spokesperson for Amazon said that the company was reviewing the order and will decide on its next steps in the due course of time, Reuters reported.
In August 2019, Amazon had agreed to buy a 49% stake in Future Coupons, which in turn owns a 7.3% stake in listed company Future Retail.
The Competition Commission of India, while giving its nod to the deal in November 2019, had said that its approval would stand revoked if, at any time, the information provided by Amazon was found to be incorrect.
The regulator’s order comes amid a dispute between Amazon and Future Group in connection with the latter’s Rs 24,713-crore deal with Reliance Retail. Under the agreement, Future Group will sell its wholesale, logistics, retail and warehouse businesses to industrialist Mukesh Ambani’s firm.
Amazon has contended that according to the agreement that it signed with the Future Group, the Indian conglomerate was not allowed sell its retail assets to a list of companies that included Reliance.
On March 18, a single-judge bench of the Delhi High Court had directed Future Retail not to take further action on the deal.
On September 9, the Supreme Court had ordered a stay on proceedings before the Delhi High Court. It had also directed markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India, the Competition Commission of India and the National Companies Law Tribunal not to pass orders in the case.