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Amazon Clarifies To Govt On Reported Legal Fee; Says Expense Includes Professional Fee

The e-commerce giant, which is said to be investigating alleged bribes paid by its legal representatives in India

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Amazon has clarified to the government on its reported legal fee, saying the expense includes professional fee as well, according to sources. The clarification came after reports that Amazon spent about Rs 8,546 crore or USD 1.2 billion in legal and professional expenses during 2018-20 in the country. 

According to sources, Amazon has written to Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal, saying these reports are inaccurate and "appears to stem from a misunderstanding" of some filings, in particular a "legal and professional expense" line item that includes substantial non-legal expenses. The letter, a copy of which was seen by PTI, was sent by Amazon Seller Services, the marketplace entity of the e-commerce giant in India on September 28.

E-mails sent to Amazon did not elicit any response. The letter also noted that these reports "incorrectly suggested" that an entity called Amazon India Ltd is an Amazon subsidiary, and have improperly attributed its legal expenses to Amazon.

Amazon India Ltd is neither an Amazon subsidiary nor connected with Amazon in any way, the sources said. The e-commerce giant, which is said to be investigating alleged bribes paid by its legal representatives in India, said it is committed to conducting business legally and ethically in India in accordance with its Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and all applicable laws.

"We expect the same from all of our employees and can assure you that we investigate all allegations of misconduct fully," it added.

(PTI)


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amazon Commerce and Industry Minister piyush goyal