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January 27, 2022

CAIT filed petition against alleged violation of Competition Act by Amazon

by CA Shivam Jaiswal in Corporate Law

CAIT filed petition against alleged violation of Competition Act by Amazon

Confederation of All India Traders

Exposing Amazon’s yet another brazen and blatant violation of Competition Act, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has today filed a strong complaint with the Competition Commission of India against Amazon committing the fraud for seeking and obtaining approval of CCI for its illegal takeover of More Retail’s stores in India. The CAIT said in case of acquiring More Retail, the Amazon committed the same fraud, misrepresentation of facts, misleading the CCI in the matter too as was done in takeover of Future Retail. It amply exposes the sinister designs of Amazon to control Indian Retail Companies in a fraudulent manner to capture the physical retail trade and inventory-based e-commerce in India causing enormous harm to the traders.

The CAIT recalled that in an email dated 19.07.2019 from Mr. Bakshi to Mr. Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon which confirms that Amazon has adopted the same structure in acquisition of More Retail Limited as was adopted in the case of Future Retail. This confirms that Amazon has committed the same fraud on CCI in the matter of More Retail as was done in the case of Future group.

The CAIT said that Amazon has taken over More Retail through Samara Alternate Investment Fund (Samara AIF) that owns 51% equity in Witzig Advisory LLP that in-turns owns More Retail Limited. The CAIT further said that Amazon has obtained approval from CCI for the above takeover of More Retail Limited by suppression and concealment. As is the case with Future, Amazon has represented to CCI that (a) Amazon has made only a financial investment in Witzig. It has not invested in More Retail; (b) the rights Amazon has acquired over More Retail Limited are only investment protection rights and Amazon has no strategic interest in More Retail;

However, Amazon has not given a confirmation that Amazon or its affiliates or its related parties have not invested in Samara AIF, either directly or indirectly, through foreign layers of investment only because Amazon has actually invested in Samara AIF and control this fund. Amazon’s offer of financial help future group through Samara fund is a testimony to their lies and fraud that they do not control More Retail Limited through Samara AIF. The same set of lies Amazon told CCI in the Future case.

The CAIT further said that Media reports indicate that Amazon has made a bogus offer to help Future through Samara, Amazon’s benami in India which shows its intentions of operating its business activities in India while knowing well that Amazon cannot invest in FRL (A Multi-Brand Retail Trading company) directly or through its benami fund.

CAIT National President Mr. B C Bhartia & Secretary General Mr Praveen Khandelwal said that through their latest letter, CAIT, has exposed Amazon’s brazen and blatant violation of Competition Act and how Amazon obtained the approval of CCI for its investment in More Retail Limited by committing fraud. CAIT has produced all the evidence needed for CCI to take stringent action against Amazon, like the order passed by CCI against Amazon in case of Future Retail Limited.

To control More Retail Limited, Amazon is using the following structure:

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