ED seeks documents from Amazon: Report

The Enforcement Directorate has recently asked Amazon.com Inc for information related to its operations in India, a global newswire reported on Friday. A senior agency source told the newswire that the ED continues to investigate the US e-commerce giant.

Last month, the source at the financial probe agency had said that the ED will examine the findings in a recent special report by the global newswire which revealed that the company has for years given preferential treatment to a small group of sellers on its India platform and used them to circumvent the country’s foreign investment rules.

For several years, Amazon has been under investigation by the agency for possible violation of foreign investment rules. Such probes typically take years in India, and in most cases the details are not made public, the report said.

The special report by the newswire is based on internal Amazon documents dated between 2012 and 2019. It provided an inside look into the cat-and-mouse game Amazon has played with the Indian government, adjusting its corporate structures each time the government imposed new restrictions aimed at protecting the small traders.

On Friday, a source in the Enforcement Directorate was quoted as saying, “Obviously we have sought information (from Amazon).”

Asked specifically if the agency had sought documents from the company, the source said: “Information means information and documents.”

The source declined to comment further on what type of documents have been sought, or if any company executive has been summoned for questioning, the report said.

An Amazon spokeswoman in India declined to comment on the matter, as per the report.

In the report published last month, Amazon said it is confident of its compliance with Indian law, adding that it “does not give preferential treatment to any seller on its marketplace”, and that it “treats all sellers in a fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory manner”.