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Amazon files fresh law suits in dispute with Future group: Report Amazon Future deal

Amazon files fresh law suits in dispute with Future group: Report

India Blooms News Service | @indiablooms | 09 Jan 2022, 10:06 pm

New Delhi/IBNS: Amazon has approached the courts challenging the recent decisions in its protracted legal dispute with Kishore Biyani-led Future Group after the Competition Commission of India suspended a 2019 deal between the two sides, leading to a halt in their arbitration, Reuters reported on Sunday citing sources.

On December 17, Amazon suffered a setback as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) suspended its deal with Future Group after reviewing complaints that US-based e-commerce giant concealed information while seeking regulatory approval.

Further, a Delhi High Court division bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh stayed the Amazon-Future arbitration over the appeals filed by Future Retail and its promoters.

On January 6, the Singapore International Arbitration Center (SIAC) has terminated the arbitration proceedings in the Amazon-Future dispute scheduled between January 5 and 8 after the stay order was passed by the Delhi High Court on Wednesday.

Late on Saturday night, Amazon filed an appeal against the CCI suspension decision at India's National Company Law Appellate Tribunal, reported Reuters citing two of the sources.

Separately, two other sources said, Amazon also filed a challenge in the Supreme Court against the Delhi court decision in which judges last week that said Future-Amazon arbitration proceedings must remain on hold until Feb. 1 in light of the antitrust suspension of the deal, stated the Reuters report.

Amazon and Future Group have been entangled in a bitter legal battle in Indian courts after Future agreed to sell its assets to Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Group on a slump basis for Rs 24,500 crore last year.

Amazon alleges that Future violated their contract—a $200 million investment in 2019—by selling its retail assets to RIL last year. Future denies the allegations.

Last month, independent directors of FRL had also alleged that Amazon had misled CCI to get clearance for the deal.

Future Retail had announced its asset sale deal with Reliance Industries Ltd’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Reliance Retail. However, Amazon invoked arbitration arguing that its deal with Future Coupons prevented Future Retail also, in the capacity of related parties, from entering into agreements with certain entities including the Mukesh Dhirubhai Ambani group.

Future Retail claimed that it was not bound by the deal between Amazon and Future Retail’s promoter firm.

Future Retail's asset sale to Reliance Retail was stayed by Singapore arbitrator in October 2020 and the validity of this order was finally affirmed by the Supreme Court in August 2021.

Meanwhile, Future Group moved the CCI seeking the cancellation of the anti-trust regulator's approval to its deal with Amazon on grounds that the US-based e-commerce giant concealed information while seeking regulatory approval.

Background

On August 29, 2020, Future Group had announced the sale of its retail and wholesale assets to Reliance Retail Ltd for Rs 24,713-crore.

In August 2019, Amazon had bought a 49 percent stake in Future Coupons for Rs 1,500 crore.

Amazon said its 2019 deal with Future Group prevents it from selling the shares of Future Retail to RIL, its biggest rival in India, as the world's biggest e-commerce platform indirectly owns about a 3.5 percent stake in Future Retail. Future denies the allegations.

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