UK CMA fines Amazon for unnecessarily delaying its Deliveroo investigation

Written by: Wajeeh Khan
September 7, 2020
  • UK CMA fines Amazon for unnecessarily delaying its Deliveroo investigation.
  • The U.S. retail giant made a £437 million investment in Deliveroo last year.
  • CMA cleared Amazon's 16% stake in Deliveroo last month.

Britain’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) on Monday announced a £55 thousand fine on Amazon Inc (NASDAQ: AMZN) as it said that the U.S. retail giant failed to present documents within the deadline that resulted in an unnecessary delay in the regulator’s investigation into Amazon’s 16% stake in Deliveroo that was cleared last month.

In an announcement last week, Amazon said it created 10 thousand new permanent positions in the United Kingdom. Hiring for 3 thousand of these, as per the U.S. company, had already been completed in recent months.  

Amazon made a £437 million investment in Deliveroo last year

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Amazon made a £437 million investment in the London-based online food delivery company to get a 16% stake in it last year as it aimed at improving its footprint in the global food delivery business. After a full-scale investigation that lasted for about 16 months, CMA cleared Amazon’s stake in Deliveroo in August.

According to the British watchdog, Amazon was required to submit 189 documents in total that it didn’t, within the initial deadline. These documents, the regulator added, also had information relevant to the second phase of its probe into the Amazon/Deliveroo merger. The CMA said on Monday:

“Although Amazon did ultimately provide all of the information required, the CMA considers that Amazon’s behaviour caused unnecessary delays to the CMA’s investigation.”

In related news, Amazon named Doug Gurr as the new country manager for its U.K. arm on Monday. Gurr will be filling the shoes for John Boumphrey, who has served the company for about nine years. Boumphrey is currently leading Amazon Fashion Europe as its vice president.

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Amazon published its quarterly earnings report in July

Amazon published its quarterly financial results in July blew past Wall Street estimates as online shopping remained robust due to COVID-19 that has far infected more than 6.4 million people in the United States and caused over 193 thousand deaths.

Shares of the company are currently trading at £2,502 per share that marks an over 70% growth in 2020 so far. In comparison, Amazon had touched a year to date low of £1,273 per share in March when the governments resorted to nationwide lockdown to minimise the fast spread of the novel flu-like virus.

At the time of writing, the American multinational technology company has a market cap of £1.25 trillion and a price to earnings ratio of 126.64.