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Delhi HC to pronounce verdict in Future Coupons vs Amazon case on 4 Jan

CCI had imposed a fine of 200 crores on the US giant for allegedly making ‘false and incorrect statements’ while seeking an approval for the deal between itself and Future Coupons.Premium
CCI had imposed a fine of 200 crores on the US giant for allegedly making ‘false and incorrect statements’ while seeking an approval for the deal between itself and Future Coupons.

  • This comes after Future Coupons Ltd moved the Delhi Court today seeking the termination of arbitration proceedings currently underway at Singapore International Arbitration Centre, following the Competition Commission of India’s order

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MUMBAI : The Delhi High Court is all set to give its final ruling on the Future Group’s petition against Amazon. In the petition the Kishore Biyani-led company had sought to quash the arbitration proceedings as the deal stands suspended by Indian competition watchdog.  

This comes after Future Coupons Ltd moved the Delhi Court today seeking the termination of arbitration proceedings currently underway at Singapore International Arbitration Centre, following the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI) order. 

On Dec 18, the CCI in its order had suspended its approval of Amazon’s deal with Future Coupons Ltd and asked the US-major to furnish additional documents.  

CCI had imposed a fine of 200 crores on the US giant for allegedly making “false and incorrect statements" while seeking an approval for the deal between itself and Future Coupons.   

The commission had alleged Amazon has concealed its strategic interest over Future Retail Ltd (FRL). By concealing these facts, it denied the CCI from examining the deal in its entirety. Amazon has to submit fresh additional documents by 17 February to enable CCI to examine the deal afresh. 

If Delhi high court rules in favour of Future group, Amazon could be left with no locus standi and the much awaited deal between Reliance Industries Ltd and FRL could go ahead.  

The deal is crucial for the Biyani founded company as it was downgraded on Monday by Care Ratings Ltd to D as it defaulted on 3495 crore worth of dues payable on or before 31 December.   

Even in case of unfavourable verdict the Amazon group can file a review petition as well appeal the decision in the apex court. 

Ramesh Vaidynathan, managing partner, Advaya Legal said that it is unlikely that Delhi high court would take any major decision pending the CCI proceedings.  

"We do not expect the high court to give a complete reverse decision on the Future-Amazon deal or on the arbitration proceedings. The high court in all probability may hold its hands in passing a final order and let the concerned adjudicating authority (CCI) deal with these issues first," said Vaidyanathan.     

Mukul Rohatgi, senior counsel representing Future Coupons informed the court that as per law an arbitrator must terminate the proceeding if it has become unnecessary. 

Adding that the company had approached the tribunal for termination of proceedings after the anti-trust watchdog’s December order.  

Rohatgi argued that the international arbitral tribunal was acting in a ‘perverse’ manner and that it has yet not passed any order in the matter. 

On the other hand, senior counsel Harish Salve on behalf of Future Retail Ltd said that Future Retail had been unnecessarily dragged in the matter even as the company was reeling under the pressure of bankruptcy.  

He asked the court to direct the international tribunal to take up the termination application.  

Gopal Subramanium, senior advocate for Amazon while responding to the arguments said that if there is any tangible ground to terminate then the arbitration tribunal will terminate the proceedings.   

Currently, a legal dispute between Future Group and Amazon is going on at the Singapore arbitration panel, but both sides have been fighting parallel cases in various courts to enforce or overrule certain decisions taken by the arbitrator.

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