E-commerce giant Amazon is reportedly exploring investing close to $100m in Indian pharmacy chain Apollo Pharmacy.

Two people familiar with the development were quoted by The Economic Times as saying the e-commerce retailer is looking to take over a minority stake in the chain.

One of the persons was quoted by the publication as saying: “The due diligence just got done and it seems to be a $100m investment.”

Apollo Hospitals owns the stand-alone pharmacy business, which has more than 3,700 outlets.

If successful, the deal will see the retailer compete with Reliance Industries and Tata Group. Both the companies are said to hold a stake in online pharmacies.

Reliance acquired a majority stake in online pharmacy Netmeds for about Rs6.2bn ($83.08m) in cash in August.

Additionally, Indian multinational conglomerate Tata Group reportedly held talks to pick up a majority stake in e-pharmacy firm 1mg.

The news for further investment in the pharmacy sector comes after Amazon launched an online drug sales service in India.

It also follows the launch of an online pharmacy, named Amazon Pharmacy, to deliver prescription drugs in the US.

Last month, the Competition Commission of India approved the acquisition deal between Reliance Retail and Future Group despite opposition from Amazon.

The retailer earlier launched legal proceedings against Future Group for allegedly breaching the terms of a non-compete contract.