ED’s notice to Flipkart, may also issue against amazon
ED’s Notice to Flipkart: The Enforcement Directorate has issued a notice to India’s leading e-commerce site Flipkart, asking why the company should not be fined. Also, Amazon can also be issued a show cause notice soon.
New Delhi. India’s financial-crime agency has served notices to Walmart’s Flipkart and its founders, seeking answers as to why they should not be fined $1.35 billion for alleged violations of foreign investment laws.
The Enforcement Directorate agency has been probing e-commerce sites Flipkart and Amazon for many years, according to the ED, both these e-commerce sites are not complying with foreign investment laws.
According to a senior ED official, the case pertains to the probe into allegations that Flipkart attracted foreign investment and WS Retail, then sold goods to consumers on its shopping website, which is against the law.
Earlier in July, a show cause notice was issued to Flipkart and its founders Sachin Bansal and Binny Bansal as well as current investor Tiger Global, asking why they should not face the fine.
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A Flipkart spokesperson said, “The company is complying with Indian rules and regulations. We will cooperate with the authorities as they look into this issue relating to the period 2009-2015 as per their notice.”
Indian agencies do not make public the show cause notices issued to the parties during the investigation. Currently, Flipkart and others have about 90 days to respond to the notice.
It is worth noting that Walmart took a major stake in e-commerce site Flipkart for $16 billion in 2018, which is considered to be the biggest deal ever. Sachin Bansal sold his stake to Walmart at the time, while Binny Bansal continued to hold a small stake.
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Flipkart’s valuation had more than doubled to $37.6 billion in less than three years after a $3.6 billion funding round in July 2021.
India’s brick and motor retailers say Amazon and Flipkart favor select sellers on their platforms and use tricky business structures to violate foreign investment laws while hurting small businesses. Whereas Flipkart and Amazon have consistently denied this.
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