Amazon bribery allegations: 'Zero tolerance on corruption,' says govt

FPJ Web DeskUpdated: Tuesday, September 21, 2021, 09:52 AM IST
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Government officials said reports did not clarify "which era" the alleged act took place and in which state.\Representational image | Photo credit: AFP

The goverment stressed on a "zero tolerance" policy towards corruption with regard to reports that Amazon's legal representatives allegedly bribed officials in India.

"As far as the government of India is concerned there is ZERO tolerance towards corruption of ANY kind in the government," officials said, according to a report by website The Morning Context.

The government officials said reports did not clarify "which era" the alleged act took place and in which state.

"Amazon has been spending more than Rs 2,000 crore in legal fees. It's time to think where all it's going. The whole system seems to work on bribes and that is not the best of business practices," said government officials, lashing out at Amazon and urging it to punish those breaking the law.

Reacting to the report, the US e-commerce giant on Monday said it takes allegations of improper actions seriously and investigates them fully to take appropriate action.

Without confirming or denying allegations, Amazon said it has "zero tolerance for corruption".

According to a report by The Morning Context, Amazon has initiated an investigation against some of its legal representatives for allegedly bribing Indian government officials. Its senior corporate counsel has reportedly been sent on leave in this matter.

An Amazon spokesperson was quoted in PTI as having said, "We have zero tolerance for corruption. We take allegations of improper actions seriously, investigate them fully, and take appropriate action. We are not commenting on specific allegations or the status of any investigation at this time".

A person aware of the development said US-headquartered companies such as Amazon take whistleblower complaints seriously, especially those related to payment of bribes to foreign government officials in order to retain or obtain business. This is also to ensure compliance with corporate governance rules.

The development comes at a time when Amazon is facing a probe by fair trade watchdog, Competition Commission of India (CCI), for alleged anti-competitive practices, predatory pricing and preferential treatment of sellers.

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