Paid just Rs 52 crore in legal fees in FY 2020, says Amazon
Amazon which has been embroiled in multiple court cases in India claims to have paid just Rs 52 crore during the financial year ending March 2020 in legal fees contrary to multiple media reports in the last few days.
Conventionally legal fees could include litigation charges, consultation fee paid to law firms which have a retainer relationship with companies, and land procurements, among other things.
The US-headquartered firm also said that overall under the header of legal and professional expenses, it spent Rs 1,967 crore during the financial year under review. Now, this cost on the other hand includes a larger scope of work including money spent on doing things like customer research, merchant onboarding or tax consultations.
The development comes after a Morning Context report stated that Amazon Inc had initiated an investigation into the conduct of its legal representatives in India. The investigation is being done following a whistleblower complaint alleging that money paid for legal fees was funnelled into bribes by Amazon's legal representatives.
The Enforcement Directorate, prosecuting authority under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, is also investigating Amazon for possible violation of FDI rules in India. This happened after the central probe agency received a notification from the Ministry of Commerce and Industry a few years ago.