As per the sources, it is alleged that Amazon has spent a staggering ₹8,546 crores or $1.2 billion in legal expenses for maintaining a presence in the country during 2018-20.
Trade body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has claimed that Amazon spending 20% of its revenue on lawyers was questionable. After the whistleblower allegations, the retail giant has opened an investigation stating that the company has zero-tolerance for corruption.
CAIT wrote a letter to commerce minister Piyush Goyal demanding a CBI probe into the bribery allegations.
“The whopping amount spent under legal professional fees clearly shows how Amazon and its subsidiaries are misusing their financial muscles to bribe and manipulate Indian government officials,” CAIT stated in a letter to Piyush Goyal.
The letter further stated, “Since the matter is very serious and sensational, it is also requested that pending CBI inquiry, Amazon should be directed to suspend their e-commerce portal and other incidental activities immediately. It is pertinent to do so in order to protect the e-commerce market and retail trade from undue influence, abuse of dominance and connivance with government officials.”
Amazon is already facing a probe by India’s fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) in connection to alleged anti-competitive practices, predatory pricing and preferential treatment of sellers.