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Business News/ Companies / News/  Amazon assures ‘zero tolerance’ in bribery allegation probe against India staff

Global retail major Amazon has said that it takes reports of improper actions seriously and investigates them fully to take appropriate action. The US-based online shopping platform said it will show ‘zero tolerance’ in probing bribery-related charges against some of its legal representatives in India.

According to media reports, Amazon has initiated an investigation against some of its legal representatives in the country for allegedly bribing Indian government officials. Its senior corporate counsel has reportedly been sent on leave in this matter.

“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," an Amazon spokesperson said, without accepting or denying the charges

A whistleblower within Amazon flagged the alleged bribery issues in the e-tailer's Indian operations, prompting the company to start its probe, as per a Morning Context report. Amazon is investigating accusations that legal fees paid by the company have been used as bribes, it added.

Amazon has reportedly sent its senior counsel on leave in this matter.

These graft allegations come while Amazon is facing a probe by fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) for alleged anti-competitive practices, predatory pricing and preferential treatment of sellers.

Amazon is also fighting a bitter legal battle with Kishore Biyani's Future Group. Amazon has challenged the 24,713 crore deal between Future Group and Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd and has dragged Future Group to the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). It has argued that Future violated the contract by entering into the deal with rival Reliance.

Amazon and Future Group had also filed litigations in Indian courts, including the Supreme Court, on the issue.

Amazon has investments in Future Coupons, that in turn is a shareholder in Future Retail Ltd.

Andy Jassy, Amazon’s new chief executive officer, is targeting India for growth even as challenges mount in what is arguably the online retailer’s most important market for expansion. The company is planning to take on Walmart Inc.-backed Flipkart, as well as fight off billionaire Mukesh Ambani's foray into online retail with JioMart and other sites.

Amazon, which employs more than 100,000 across India, has pledged to digitise 10 million small business, enable $10 billion in exports and create two million jobs in the country by 2025.

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Updated: 20 Sep 2021, 02:46 PM IST
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