Amazon’s bid to acquire stake in the Indian retailer faces antitrust hurdle: sources

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – India’s antitrust body has asked for more information Inc. (AMZN.(O) concerning the proposed acquisition of a stake in India and the Future of the Retail industry (FRTL.NS), sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, as possible, to delay the deal.

FILE PHOTO: The logo of Amazon is seen at the company’s distribution centre in Boves, France, 8th August, 2018. REUTERS/Pascal Rossignol/File Photo

In the Amazon, in August, agreed to acquire a 49% stake in a unit of India’s Future Group, which owns 7.3 percent of that for the Future of the Retail industry, the making of the U.S.-based company with a 3.58% stake in the retailer, which operates more than 1,500 stores in the country.

The deal could help Amazon tap into the booming retail market of India, as it is a separate, strengthened its e-commerce businesses, offering everything from electronics to groceries, in the Indian site. The future of Retail is running at 290 the budget of the department, and the supermarkets are branded “Grand Bazaar”.

In a statement from Amazon in the last month of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said that: “in certain of the overlapping segments and areas of action of the parties, the combined market share exceeds the threshold indicated in the combination of the regulatory environment, which is one of the sources told Reuters.

The CCI has also asked for the procedure, Amazon is believed to seek approval. On Amazon, the cultural and creative INDUSTRIES, by means of a so-called ” Shape I’m in, instead of a Form II, that is more demanding and requires, where the parties will assess the combined entity will be no more than a pre-defined threshold.

The CCI has sought justification from the Amazon to the reason why it chose not to file a Form I, the source added, it is possible to delay approval of the deal. In a Form I am submitting, it usually takes 2-3 months, in comparison with the three-to six-months for a Form II.

In the Amazon, and the Future of Retail, declined to comment for this story. A source in the Future, the group said that it had recently responded to the CCI’s request, with respect to the handle, but did not elaborate.

The CCI did not respond to Reuters ‘ queries.

In addition, the competition watchdog has asked Amazon for more than 40 questions, in relation to the deal, the companies, the initial source with knowledge of the matter said.

A second source confirmed to Reuters that the CCI had sent additional queries to the Amazon, said that it was a part of the formal deal process and the approval of the supervisor.

“There have been questions about e-commerce … of the cultural and creative INDUSTRIES will need to assess whether or not there is an adverse impact on competition or not,” the source said.

Amazon’s notice to be available on CCI’s website, it says that the company is of the opinion that the deal is “not likely to cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India.

“Such queries imply that the deal will be closely scrutinized and may be faced with possible delays, but it could eventually sail through, as there is no anti-trust concerns, are to be found,” said Karan Singh Chandhiok, an antitrust partner at Indian law firm, Chandhiok & Mahajan, who was not involved in the proposal for a ring to buy.

Usually, in such cases, the company has to defend its decision and, if the watchdog does not agree, it doesn’t have any other choice but to give a few more details and a Form II filing, Chandhiok added to it.

Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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