An Indian government agency has summoned Amazon.com Inc.’s top management in the country along with officials from Future Coupons Pvt Ltd. to query them about a botched deal, The Economic Times newspaper reported.
The Enforcement Directorate — the agency that investigates offenses related to money laundering — is examining whether Amazon was in breach of India’s foreign exchange laws when it invested 14.3 billion rupees ($191 million) to purchase a 49% stake in FCPL in 2019, the newspaper said. FCPL owns about 10% of Future Retail Ltd., the flagship entity that runs the Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar and Easyday chains.
An Amazon spokesperson told the newspaper that “We are in receipt of summons issued by the ED in connection with the Future Group. As we have just received the summons, we are examining it and will respond within the given time frame.”
The Future Group didn’t respond to the Economic Times’s request for comment.
Amazon, which is trying to block Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani from taking over the struggling Future retail chain, alleged last week that money from the local firm may have been diverted to other companies.
Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. and Jeff Bezos-founded Amazon are fighting for a bigger slice of the only billion-people-plus consumer market that’s still open to foreign firms.