Amazon investigates lawyers for allegedly bribing Indian government officials



  • Development comes after a whistleblower complains that AmazonThe s legal representatives had used the money paid to them to bribe Indian officials.
  • Rahul Sundaram, senior legal advisor at Amazon, and an independent New Delhi-based lawyer were reportedly named in the lawsuit.
  • Even ITC and ED are currently investigating Amazon into allegations raised by pressure groups and media reports.

Global e-commerce giant Amazon has opened investigation against its legal representatives for alleged corruption government officials”>Indian government officials. Rahul Sundaram, senior legal adviser at Amazon, has reportedly been put on leave in the case.

The development was first reported by The Morning Context citing anonymous sources within the company and Amazon’s internal legal team. The publication had also contacted Sundaram for comment, who said “Sorry, I cannot speak with the press.”

Meanwhile, an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider US, “We have zero tolerance for corruption. We take allegations of improper actions seriously, investigate them thoroughly and take appropriate action. We are not commenting on specific allegations or the status of an investigation at this time. ”

This development comes after a whistleblower complained that Amazon’s legal representatives used money paid to them by Amazon to bribe Indian officials.

A person familiar with the development, on condition of anonymity, told The Morning Context that U.S. companies like Amazon are taking these whistleblower complaints seriously because they are against the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, or FCPA.

The FCPA law in the United States prohibits companies and individuals from paying bribes to officials of foreign governments in order to retain or obtain contracts. It is also part of the corporate governance rules for all public companies in the United States.

The whistleblower’s complaint also names an independent lawyer in New Delhi who works with Amazon as an outside lawyer to be hired. The complaint alleges that said lawyer was the one who funneled the money Amazon paid to bribe Indian government officials. According to The Morning Context sources, Amazon was one of the attorney’s biggest clients, with an annual billing of 20 crore.

Typically, companies of this scale and size employ fee-based law firms to review legal matters. In India, Amazon works with a few legal firms, including AZB & Partners. AZB & Partners has also fired a junior lawyer in this regard, according to The Morning Context sources. Business Insider could not independently verify this claim.

Business Insider has contacted AZB & Partners, requesting clarification in this regard.

Amazon has not been on the Indian government’s good books for the past two years anyway, it only remains for us to see how the central government responds to such complaints by tightening the noose around the retail giant. electronic.

There have been several complaints and media reports against Amazon, alleging professional misconduct, anti-competitive behavior and tiptoeing around policy. The Indian government has taken notice of these allegations and has launched the latest e-commerce policies to establish a framework for companies like Amazon, Walmart-owned Flipkart, etc.

Even India’s Competition Commission (ICC) and Enforcement Branch (ED) are currently investigating Amazon into allegations raised by lobby groups and media reports.

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