Future Retail asks Delhi Court to declare Singapore

India’s Future Retail has asked a New Delhi court to declare illegal arbitration proceedings with Amazon.com in Singapore, arguing that India’s antitrust agency has been sued by Amazon to claim rights over Future. The used 2019 deal was suspended.

Amazon successfully used the terms of its $200 million (about Rs 1,485 crore) investment in debt-laden Futures to block an Indian retailer’s attempt to sell retail assets to a rival, alleging breach of certain contracts .

But the Competition Commission of India, the Competition Commission of India, suspended the 2019 deal in December saying Amazon suppressed the information while seeking approval.

The long-running dispute is being heard by a Singapore arbitration panel, but both sides are fighting parallel cases in Indian courts to enforce or overturn certain decisions taken by the arbitrator.

In the latest Future Retail filing in New Delhi, the company argues that since the 2019 deal no longer has an antitrust clearance, it has “no legal existence” in India and that Amazon can no longer claim any of its rights. .

“The continuance of the entire arbitration proceedings constitutes an order of illegality,” Future said in its filing on December 31.

The court will hear the matter later on Monday.

Future and Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.

The filing also showed that following Future’s appeal in the Delhi High Court, the Singapore arbitration panel did not accede to his immediate demands to end the proceedings, saying the arguments would continue this month.

A source with direct knowledge said Amazon told a Singapore arbitrator in December that the CCI’s suspension of the 2019 deal does not mean the transaction is void, as the watchdog allowed Amazon to reapply for approval. has given.

Amazon has long argued that Future violated the terms of the 2019 deal in deciding to sell its retail assets to Reliance, and the US company’s position has so far been supported by Singapore arbitrators and Indian courts. Future denies any wrongdoing.

But people familiar with the matter say the antitrust suspension could make it easier for Future to pursue its efforts to sell retail assets to Reliance and undermine Amazon’s legal position.

The dispute over Future Retail, which has more than 1,500 supermarkets and other outlets, is Jeff Bezos’ most hostile flashpoint between Amazon and Reliance, run by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, as they have the upper hand in winning over retail consumers. try to achieve.

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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