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Amazon to continue investing in India amid feud with Reliance

Amazon to continue investing in India amid feud with Reliance
October 31
16:26 2020

NEW DELHI: As the face-off between Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) and Amazon continues, the Jeff Bezos-run global e-commerce behemoth has said that it will continue to invest in India where the company has witnessed robust growth.

In a conference call with analysts after announcing its Q3 2020 results, Brian Olsavsky, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Amazon, said that the company’s commitment to invest in India despite the pandemic is on track. Amazon has invested $5 billion in India and in January this year, Bezos said the company will invest another $1 billion to empower 10 million Indian small and medium businesses (SMBs).

“We should get about the level of investment that continued and we see that we’re committed to continuing that even after the pandemic. In India we’ve had a very strong Prime Day and the Diwali is off to a good start,” Olsavsky said on Thursday. The week-long festive sales in India this month generated $4.1 billion (nearly Rs 29,000 crore) across e-commerce platforms.

Flipkart Group and Amazon together accounted for over 90 per cent of the total online sales during the seven-day period, according to Bengaluru-based consulting firm RedSeer. Earlier this month, Amazon had said that the Future Group violated a contract with it by entering into the sales agreement with the Mukesh Ambani-led retail major.

Last year, Amazon had acquired 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons, a Future Group entity.

Future Group faced mounting debt and was scouting for buyers for its massive retail business till Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL), a subsidiary of RIL, in August announced that it will acquire the retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing business from the debt-laden group as a going concern on a slump sale basis for Rs 24,713 crore. Amazon went to a Singapore arbitration court which temporarily halted the acquisition process of Future Group’s retail business by Reliance Retail.

Future Retail’s representatives have told the arbitration panel that if the deal with Reliance Retail fails, the company would go into liquidation. The closure of the company would lead to over 29,000 job losses, the company’s counsel said, according to a copy of the order.

The battle seems to be turning into a major war between two of the world’s richest tycoons, Jeff Bezos and Mukesh Ambani.

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