According to reports quoting sources, Amazon.com Inc has lodged new legal challenges in its long-running battle with Indian retailer Future Group following the national antitrust commission suspending a 2019 deal between the two parties, which put a halt to their arbitration.
Last month, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) put a hold on Amazon’s 2019 contract with Future, putting a stop to the e-commerce behemoth’s attempts to block the sale of Future’s retail assets to Indian market leader Reliance Industries.
Following the suspension, a New Delhi court halted the arbitration procedures between the two parties.
Amazon filed an appeal against the CCI suspension ruling at India’s National Company Law Appellate Tribunal late Saturday night, according to sources quoted in the reports.
According to reports, Amazon also filed an appeal in the Supreme Court of India against a Delhi court judgment last week that ruled Future-Amazon arbitration procedures must be postponed until February 1 due to the deal’s antitrust suspension.
In their reports on the matter, Amazon and the CCI made no remarks.
The petitions are the latest in a protracted legal struggle between Amazon, Future, and Reliance over what is perceived to be a battle for retail domination in India’s burgeoning consumer market.
Reliance Industries, led by Mukesh Ambani, one of the wealthiest individuals of India, wants to expand its presence by buying debt-ridden Future, but Amazon has told India’s antitrust agency that Reliance’s consolidated position “would further restrict competition in the Indian retail industry.”
Amazon has long claimed that Future’s decision to transfer retail assets to Reliance breached the terms of its 2019 agreement. The Singapore arbitration and Indian courts have so far supported the US company’s argument. Future is adamant in his denial of any wrongdoing.
However, Future has maintained that Amazon no longer has a legal basis to continue the matter since the CCI stopped the merger’s approval, alleging that Amazon withheld material when seeking permissions for the deal.
Both of Amazon’s appeals, to the Indian tribunal and the Supreme Court, are expected to be heard in the coming days, according to reports quoting sources. (Adapted from BusinessWorld.in)