Nov 17, 2021
India court orders antitrust body to rule on Amazon-Future dispute within two weeks
Nov 17, 2021
An Indian court ruled on Tuesday that the country’s antitrust body has two weeks to decide whether Amazon misled authorities while seeking approval for a 2019 deal with Indian’s Future Group, said a group of Indian retailers.
The Confederation of All Indian Traders (CAIT) said in a statement that it had filed the case in Delhi High Court on Monday and the decision was issued on Tuesday.
Amazon and Future, India’s second-largest retailer, have been engaged in a legal battle since last year. The e-commerce giant has successfully blocked Future’s offer to sell its retail assets to rival Reliance for $ 3.4 billion, accusing its partner of violating some pre-existing agreements.
Future, who denies any wrongdoing and fears liquidation if it fails to sell assets, argued before the Indian Competition Commission (CCI) that the approval of the Amazon 2019 deal should be revoked because the American company had made misleading statements while seeking approval. Amazon said it was confident it could respond to these regulatory issues.
On Tuesday, CAIT said the antitrust body should soon rule on the issue, which has ramifications for the public interest and could affect their businesses if the Future-Reliance deal fails.
A two-judge panel said the CCI must resolve the dispute between Amazon and Future within two weeks, the retail group said in its statement, adding that “merchants should not become a scapegoat or suffer harshness. financial loss”.
CCI and Amazon did not respond to a request for comment.
At the heart of the legal dispute between the two companies is Amazon’s agreement to invest US $ 200 million in Future Coupons, a unit of Future Group, in 2019.
A person familiar with the matter said on Tuesday that it would be unprecedented for the ICC to outright revoke an agreement even if there have been misrepresentations, but any decision could affect the ongoing dispute.
“If there is no transaction (2019), there is no dispute between Amazon, Future,” said the source, who asked not to be identified because the person was not authorized. to talk to the media.
In July, Reuters exclusively reported that the CCI investigated a Future complaint, then accused Amazon of covering up facts while seeking permission to invest in a Future unit Group in 2019, after the watchdog compared the legal disclosures. made by Amazon on several forums.
Amazon told Reuters at the time that it was confident it would address the watchdog’s concerns.
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