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CAIT writes to Competition Commission, urges it to revoke Amazon-Future Coupons Deal – Moneycontrol

Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) on November 8 wrote to the Chairman of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to discuss the Amazon-Future Retail deal.

Requesting the CCI to revoke the approval it had given to the Amazon-Future Coupons (FCPL) deal in November 2019, CAIT pointed out the anti-competitive practices of Amazon that have led to the closure of a large number of small shops and impacted the livelihood of millions of traders and their families.

Dubbing Amazon’s move to be “acquisition of strategic rights in Future Retail” disguised as an investment in Future Coupons Private Limited, CAIT cited the letter from independent directors of Future Retail Limited to highlight “yet another case of cheating and violation of Competition Act and its Regulations by Amazon”.

Also read: Why CCI should revoke the Amazon-Future Coupons deal. Legal experts weigh in

The traders’ body said: “Amazon’s only intent is to destroy the livelihood of crores of small traders by any means”, including indulging in anti-competitive practices and annihilating competition.

It added: “None other than the independent directors of Future Retail Limited (FRL) have brought out the truth to the CCI. It is clear that Amazon had lied, concealed facts, made misrepresentations and false representations to the Commission while seeking its approval for its investment in Future Coupons Private Limited.

As per the letter shot by the Independent Director of FRL, Amazon had falsely represented that it was investing in the business of FCPL and taking indirect protective rights in FRL to obtain the CCI nod, whereas, in reality, Amazon was indirectly investing in Future Retail and obtaining strategic material and special rights over FRL, the traders’ association pointed out.

Also read: Future Retail-Amazon battle| This isn’t the first time Amazon is facing allegations of misrepresenting facts

This deal underlined that Amazon’s indirect rights (through FCPL) over FRL were only for the purpose of protection of its investment and that it would not exercise rights over FRL directly but through FCPL. Further, the rights obtained by FCPL over FRL were negotiated independently of Amazon’s investment, CAIT added.

It then went on to point out that FRL is at the brink of bankruptcy and if the CCI does not revoke the deal, the 50,000 people that the Future group employs will be on the road.

Moreover, it would mean that the future of 6,000 SMEs, who are owed Rs 10,000 crore by the Future group, will be at stake. That apart, the Rs 30,000 crore lent to the Group by public sector banks will also be at risk.

Making an appeal to the CCI for taking immediate cognizance of the issue, the CAIT wrote: “We are pained to see that despite the pressing urgency of the matter in which the livelihood of lakhs of people and a huge sum of public funds is involved, CCI has not taken any action for over eight months, since the time the complaint was made to the CCI during the month of March 2021.”

“Considering the urgency of the matter and the attached public interest and public good, we request you to take immediate action of declaring the approval granted to Amazon stands revoked.”