Rs 200 Crore Penalty Imposed On Amazon For Big Bazaar Deal; Plea Rejected By NCLAT
The US tech giant and e-commerce major Amazon.com will now have to pay a penalty of Rs 200 crore, a fine imposed by the Indian competition watchdog Competition Commission of India’s (CCI), as per an order by the law appellate tribunal National Company Law Appellate Tribunal on Monday.
The appeals tribunal’s order came on a development on the competition regulator’s order pertaining to non-disclosures by Amazon to suspend the e-comm major’s deal with Future Coupons, dated Dec 17.
However, all is not lost for Amazon yet, as the US retailer giant can still challenge the order in the apex court Supreme Court.
Here’s everything you need to know about the issue.
NCLAT Stands By CCI’s Order, Directs Amazon to Pay Penalty
In a Dec 17 order, the statutory body CCI imposed a fine of Rs 202 crore on Amazon, condemning the company to suppress information while seeking clearances for the transaction of acquiring a 49% stake in the merchandise products retailer Future Coupons or FCPL.
CCI had suspended the approval given by it to Amazon’s this deal back in 2019, last year in December.
The US retailer approached the appeals tribunal NCLAT against CCI’s order of penalty charges, where the ‘competition authority had put the approval for the Amazon and Future Coupons deal in abeyance’, stated a Livemint report.
However, the tribunal in its response on the matter on Monday, said that it is in complete agreement with the antitrust watchdog’s decision over Amazon, and directed the latter to deposit Rs 200 crore as penalty.
“Amazon has failed to make fair, frank, and forthright disclosures pertaining to the 2019 deal with Future Group. The tribunal is in agreement with the CCI view and thereby directs Amazon to deposit ?200 crore as penalty,” stated the two-member tribunal bench led by Justice M Venugopal, and comprising Ashok Kumar Mishra.
The tribunal added, “ “In so far as the aspect of non-disclosures by Amazon, this tribunal aptly points out that Amazon was required to reveal ‘economic and strategic’ purpose, including business objective and rationale for each of the parties to the combination and the manner in which they are intended to be achieved of the combination.”