CCI Approves Amazon’s Acquisition of 0.51% of Stake in Quess Corp

On September 6, 2019, the CCI approved Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC’s (‘Amazon’) acquisition of approximately 0.51% of the equity share capital of Quess Corp Limited (‘Quess’) on a fully diluted basis.[1]

Amazon is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Amazon.com, Inc. (‘ACI’) and is engaged in the business of making investments at a global scale. While Amazon is not engaged in any business in India, ACI has some subsidiaries that are active in the Indian retail and payment processing markets. Quess is a part of the Quess Corp Group, which is engaged in various business activities in India, including the provision of facilities management services in India.

The CCI noted that neither of the parties was engaged in any identical or similar business activities. However, Amazon had portfolio companies that were engaged in the business of providing facilities management services in India. The market shares of such portfolio companies were in the range of 0-5%. The CCI also noted the existing business relationship between Amazon Seller Services Private Limited (‘ASSPL’), an affiliate of Amazon, and Quess, for the provision of after-sales services to customers for products ordered on the online marketplace operated by ASSPL. This revenue generated by Quess out of its relationship with ASSPL was negligible. Moreover, the affiliates of Amazon in India and Quess were not considered to be operating in the same production chain.

The CCI noted that as a part of the pre-existing relation between ASSPL and Quess, Quess was restricted from providing similar services to a specific list of persons. Such a restriction was found to be not ancillary to the combination. In any case, in light of the above factors, CCI was of the opinion that the combination was not likely to have any AAEC and accordingly, approved the combination.

[1] Combination Registration No. C-2019/08/680.

Published In:Inter Alia Special Edition- Competition Law - November 2019 [ English
Date: November 11, 2019