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Amazon writes to Sebi over Future-Reliance Retail deal

BusinessToday.In     October 30, 2020

American e-commerce giant Amazon has written to India's market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and stock exchanges to consider the interim judgement of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) while reviewing the proposed deal between Reliance Industries and Future group. Seattle-based retail giant has shared a copy of the interim judgement with Sebi, BSE and NSE.

The proposed Future Group-RIL transaction is subject to approvals from various regulatory authorities, including Sebi and the Competition Commission of India (CCI). The agencies are reportedly reviewing the online and offline aspects of the proposed deal both separately and together to ascertain their impact on competition and market.  

Also Read: Reliance-Future Retail deal: Amazon won in Singapore but can it win in India?

Earlier this month, the SIAC had put on hold Future Group's Rs 24,713 crore asset sale to Mukesh Ambani's RIL, an interim win for Amazon which had alleged the deal between the Indian companies breached some existing agreements.  

However, both Reliance Retail and Future Retail have said that they will take all necessary steps to ensure that "the proposed transaction will proceed unhindered without any delay".

Also Read: Was Amazon really interested in Future Group?

Though the temporary injunction is not automatically enforceable in India, but Sebi and other authorities may take into consideration the interim order of the Singapore arbitrator while reviewing the proposed deal, PTI reported.

Also Read: Future-RIL Deal: Future Group may challenge arbitration award; says order should be tested under Indian law

Amazon had dragged Future to arbitration at SIAC after cash-strapped Kishore Biyani-led Future Group signed a deal to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units to Reliance in August this year. It claimed that Future Group firm violated the contract by entering into the deal with rival Reliance Industries.

Also Read: Interim win for Amazon; Singapore arbitration panel puts RIL-Future deal on hold

Last year, Amazon had agreed to acquire 49 per cent stake in one of Future's unlisted firms -- Future Coupons Ltd -- with the right to buy into flagship Future Retail Ltd after a period of three to ten years. Future Coupons holds 7.3 per cent equity in Future Retail Ltd -- that operates popular supermarket and hypermarket chains such as Big Bazaar -- through convertible warrants.

By Chitranjan Kumar

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