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A file photo of the Delhi high court. Photo: Mint
A file photo of the Delhi high court. Photo: Mint

Delhi high court notice to parties in Amazon case against Future-Reliance deal

  • The dispute relates to Future’s sale of its retail, wholesale and warehousing assets to Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail for 24,713 crore. Amazon owns a 5% indirect stake in Future Retail

NEW DELHI The Delhi High court on Wednesday issued notice to Future Retail and other respondents in Amazon’s appeal against the 21 December single-judge bench order that had upheld the Kishore Biyani company’s proposed merger with Reliance Retail Ventures. The next date of hearing is 12 February.

The dispute relates to Future’s sale of its retail, wholesale and warehousing assets to Mukesh Ambani’s RIL for 24,713 crore. Amazon, which owns a 5% indirect stake in Future Retail, had contested the sale in the Singapore court, claiming that its 2019 investment agreement bars Future from selling its assets to RIL. The Singapore court ‪on 25 October‬ restrained Future from selling its assets to RIL.

The single-judge benchhad prima facie held that the interim award by Singapore International Arbitration Centre in favour of Amazon was legal, while also saying that Future-Reliance transaction was legal. It left the final decision to the regulatory bodies.

The single judge bench had prima facie upheld FRL board’s 29 August resolution regarding the group's sale of its business to Reliance Retail, part of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries. But it had declined the Future Group's plea to stop Amazon from approaching regulators.

The court ruled in favour of Amazon and allowed it to continue opposing the merger before appropriate legal forums, indicating that the interim award, passed earlier by emergency arbitrator of Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), is valid and both the parties should continue to pursue the case before SIAC until the tribunal passes its final judgement.

Future Retail had approached the high court with a plea restrain Amazon from approaching regulatory bodies such as Competition Commission of India (CCI) and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) against its transaction with Reliance.

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