Amazon has finished its first round of acquisition talks with Jabong, an Indian online lifestyle retail site, according to a report by VCCircle. The deal could be worth up to $1.2 billion, and would give Amazon a greater foothold in India, where the company is working to grow its presence.
Jabong currently sells a wide variety of lifestyle goods, including clothes, shoes, accessories and home furnishings. An unnamed source with knowledge of the deal said that the acquisition would be similar to the one Amazon made of Zappos in the U.S. That tie-up has seen the online shoe sales site remain fairly independent of Amazon, with its own freewheeling culture that’s in stark contrast to Amazon’s more regimented style.
Flipkart, the country’s largest online retailer, made a similar acquisition earlier this year in the form of Myntra, another lifestyle retail site.
There’s one wrinkle in a potential deal: India has very strict laws about foreign investment, which means that the Seattle-based tech giant will have to structure a deal very carefully in order not to run afoul of Indian regulators.
Amazon launched a marketplace in India last year, and has since doubled down on its presence in the country. The company announced earlier this year that it would invest $2 billion in its Indian operations, in a move to compete with Flipkart, which recently raised $200 million.