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Amazon vs Future Retail: E-comm giant moves SC against Biyani's deal with Reliance

Amazon says Future violated its contract by signing a retail asset sale agreement with RIL in 2020. Future promoter Kishore Biyani denies any wrongdoing and accuses Amazon of playing "dog in a manager"

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | February 11, 2021 | Updated 12:57 IST
Amazon vs Future Retail: E-comm giant moves SC against Biyani's deal with Reliance
Delhi High Court also turned down Amazon's request to keep its order in abeyance for a week

In the ongoing legal fight between Jeff Bezos-led Amazon Inc and Kishore Biyani's Future Retail group, the e-comm giant has moved the Supreme Court, challenging the Rs 24,713 crore retail asset sale to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Retail Ltd.

As per Amazon, Future violated its contract with by signing a retail asset sale agreement with Reliance Industries in 2020. However, Future promoter Kishore Biyani has denied any of these wrongdoing and has accused Amazon of playing "dog in a manager" as the multinational e-commerce giant engages in a massive legal battle with Future Retail Ltd (FRL).

Also read: Future-Reliance deal: Delhi HC stays single-bench status quo order

The latest action by Amazon comes in the backdrop of the Delhi High Court dealing a blow to Amazon by revoking a previous court order on putting a stay on the deal. The Delhi High Court also turned down Amazon's request to keep its order in abeyance for a week so that it can explore appropriate remedies.

The court also issued notice to Amazon and sought its stand on FRL's appeal by February 26 when it will commence day-to-day hearing of the matter. Though Amazon and Future didn't comment on the fresh plea, Reuters confirmed sources as saying the e-comm giant has filed a plea in the Supreme Court.

On February 2, the single-bench court of Justice JR Midha had blocked Future Group's deal with Reliance Industries after Amazon raised objections. The court had passed the order while hearing Amazon's plea on an emergency award passed by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), which restrained Future from selling retail assets to Reliance.

Also read: How Future Retail is at JioMart's mercy

The basis of a legal fight between Amazon and Kishore Biyani's Future Retail lies in an agreement signed between both the companies in August 2019. Amazon had agreed to buy 49 per cent of one of Future's unlisted firms -- Future Coupons Ltd -- with the right to buy into flagship Future Retail after a period of three to ten years.

Future Coupons holds 7.3 per cent equity in BSE-listed FRL -- that operates popular supermarket and hypermarket chains such as Big Bazaar -- through convertible warrants.

In August 2020, Future reached an agreement to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units to Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd (RRVL) -- which operates the retail business of RIL -- for Rs 24,713 crore. In October, Amazon approached the SIAC, alleging that Future Group violated the contract by entering into the deal with rival Reliance and demanded to halt the deal with Mukesh Ambani-led company.

Also read: Future vs Amazon: Kishore Biyani's firm to challenge Delhi HC order on deal with Reliance

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