An Indian government agency has summoned Amazon.com Inc’s top management in the country, along with officials from Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL), to question them about a botched deal, the Economic Times reported.
The Indian Enforcement Directorate (ED) — the agency that investigates offenses related to money laundering — is examining whether Amazon, which was founded by Jeff Bezos, was in breach of India’s foreign-exchange laws when it invested 14.3 billion rupees (US$190.5 million) to purchase a 49 percent stake in FCPL in 2019, the newspaper said.
FCPL owns about 10 percent of Future Retail Ltd, the flagship entity that runs the Big Bazaar, Food Bazaar and Easyday chains.
“We are in receipt of summons issued by the ED in connection with the Future Group,” an Amazon spokesperson told the newspaper. “As we have just received the summons, we are examining it and will respond within the given time frame.”
The Future Group did not respond to a request by the Economic Times for comment.
Amazon, which is trying to block Mukesh Ambani — Asia’s richest man — from taking over the struggling Future retail chain, last week said that money from the local firm was allegedly diverted to other companies.
Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd and Amazon are fighting for a bigger slice of the only billion-people-plus consumer market that remains open to foreign firms.
The Indian government has asked Starlink Internet Services of Elon Musk’s rocket maker Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX) to comply with the country’s regulatory framework before offering its satellite-based Internet services.
The Indian Ministry of Communications said in a statement late on Friday that because Starlink is not the holder of a license, the public is advised not to subscribe to Starlink services that are being advertised.
“The same is also evident from the Web site of Starlink (www.starlink.com), wherein satellite-based Internet services can be booked by users in the Indian territory,” it said.
There was no immediate comment from Musk’s company.
Media reports said that SpaceX has been accepting preorders for a beta version of the service for a fully refundable deposit of 7,400 rupees.
Additional reporting by AP
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