CAIT: Amazon’s plan to acquire Catamaran stake in Prione violates FDI policy

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The Confederation of All India Traders on Thursday said any approval from the Competition Commission of India for Amazon to buy shares of Catamaran in Prione Business Services will be a gross violation of the FDI Policy, as it would lead to complete control over a seller on its marketplace platform.

The traders’ body said that the approval will convert Amazon from being a marketplace platform to an inventory-based platform, which is strictly prohibited under the FDI policy.

Amazon on Wednesday announced it would acquire Catamaran’s stake in Prione Business Services.

Founded in mid-2014, Prione Business Services provides digital and internet services to Indian small and medium-sized businesses, while Catamaran is a venture capital and private equity investment firm. However, the acquisition would be subject to requisite regulatory approvals.

On August 9, the two firms announced their decision to not continue the joint venture beyond the current term to be ended in May 2022.

CAIT National President B.C.Bhartia and Secretary General Praveen Khandelwal, in a statement, said the global e-commerce firm Amazon’s audacity is extremely surprising despite facing multiple investigations by various Indian agencies like the Enforcement Directorate and the CCI.

“Amazon has been relentlessly adopting various means to circumvent India’s sovereign laws right under the nose of the Indian authorities. Amazon has started considering itself bigger than India now as they have also challenged and sued the Enforcement Directorate,” the statement said.

The CAIT said it will write to the CCI to ensure that Amazon does not succeed in their “sinister design” of vitiating India’s ecommerce market which in turn will end up destroying India’s vast retail market beside the CAIT will also take up the matter with the Commerce and Finance Ministries.

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