New Delhi | Jagran Business Desk: US e-commerce giant Amazon is probing bribery-related charges against some of its legal representatives in India, reported news agency PTI. This comes after a whistleblower raised a complaint against Amazon's legal representatives for their role in allegedly bribing Indian officials.
On Monday, Amazon had said it takes allegations of improper actions seriously and investigates them fully to take appropriate action. Without confirming or denying the news, Amazon said it has "1 for corruption".
Here's everything you need to know about the Amazon bribe case:
1. Two people, who work closely with Amazon’s in-house legal team, confirmed that senior corporate counsel at Amazon Rahul Sundaram, has been sent on leave, news agency IANS reported quoting The Morning Context.
2. According to a report by The Morning Context, Amazon has initiated an investigation against some of its legal representatives for allegedly bribing Indian government officials.
3. Amazon's senior corporate counsel has reportedly been sent on leave in this matter. The whistleblower’s complaint points to the role played by Vikas Chopra, an independent advocate in New Delhi who works with Amazon as an outside counsel for hire. The complaint alleges that legal fees paid to Chopra by Amazon have been funnelled into bribing government officials as per the IANS report.
4. When contacted, an Amazon spokesperson said: "We have zero tolerance for corruption. We take allegations of improper actions seriously, investigate them fully, and take appropriate action. We are not commenting on specific allegations or the status of any investigation at this time".
5. A person aware of the development said US-headquartered companies such as Amazon take whistleblower complaints seriously, especially those related to payment of bribes to foreign government officials in order to retain or obtain business. This is also to ensure compliance with corporate governance rules.
6. Meanwhile, traders' body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has demanded a CBI inquiry saying the matter relates to the credibility of the government and is counter to the vision of removing corruption at all levels within the government.
7. The CAIT also demanded that names of officials involved in the matter be made public and exemplary action be taken against them.
8. A representation to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Gary Gensler is sent to India to demand a "fair and independent probe" into the issue.
9. This comes at the backdrop of Amazon facing a probe by fair trade watchdog, Competition Commission of India (CCI), for alleged anti-competitive practices, predatory pricing and preferential treatment of sellers.
10. Amazon is also locked in a legal tussle with Future Group. Amazon is contesting the Rs 24,713-crore deal between Future Group and Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd and has dragged Future Group to the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC).
(With inputs from PTI, IANS)
Posted By: Sugandha Jha