Amazon Moves Delhi High Court Against ED Inquiry into Alleged Exchange Rate Violations

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US-based e-commerce company Amazon filed a petition with the Delhi High Court on Wednesday to quash an investigation by the Law Enforcement Directorate into its deal with Indian conglomerate Future Group, the Economic times reported.

The Enforcement Department is investigating whether Amazon broke foreign exchange management law by investing in Future Coupons, a Future Group promotion company.

The e-commerce company claimed the agency was conducting a “fishing and roaming investigation” against him. A fishing and roaming survey involves asking questions that are unrelated to the question being scanned.

The company also alleged that the agency sought information on confidential legal advice given to it, as well as other information unrelated to the deal with the Future Group, Reuters reported.

Amazon claimed that the Enforcement Branch violated constitutional principles by requesting “legally privileged documents and information on litigation privilege.”

The e-commerce giant added that the agency had summoned several of its officials, including its Indian official, in recent weeks, which has led to “unnecessary harassment”.

The case is expected to be heard on Thursday.

In August 2019, Amazon agreed to buy a 49% stake in Future Coupons, which in turn owns a 7.3% stake in listed company Future Retail.

However, on December 17, India’s Competition Commission suspended the deal over allegations that Amazon withheld information while seeking approval from the country’s antitrust watchdog.

The regulator also fined Amazon Rs 200 crore for allegedly concealing the true scope of the deal and making “false and incorrect statements” when applying for approval.

Amazon and the Future Group are also engaged in litigation in the Delhi High Court, in which the US-based company challenged Future’s Group’s 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail. Under the terms of the agreement, Future Group will sell its wholesale, logistics, retail and warehouse activities to industrialist Mukesh Ambani.

Amazon argued that under its deal with Future Group, the latter conglomerate cannot sell its retail assets to a list of companies, including Reliance.


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