Two of the world’s richest men are duking it out over a brick-and-mortar retail chain on the verge of default. But when it comes to the fight for India’s growing e-commerce market, every battle counts.
Amazon, the Seattle-based e-commerce firm owned by Jeff Bezos, is fighting a $3.3 billion deal struck between Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries and the Indian retail conglomerate Future Group.
What’s at stake is strategic access to a network of popular grocery stores and retail shops in India — something both Amazon and Reliance want to either have for themselves, or to prevent the other from acquiring.
“If someone backs down, it will give the impression that one has lost and the other has won, when the fight has just started,” said Counterpoint Research analyst Tarun Pathak.
Amazon has 31.2% market share in India’s e-commerce industry, just behind Walmart-owned Flipkart’s 31.9%, according to a recent report from market research firm Forrester. But …