November 30, 2021

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Supreme Court To Hear Amazon’s Appeal Against Expedited CCI Proceedings On Nov 29

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The Supreme Court today agreed to hear on November 29 Amazon’s plea challenging the Delhi High Court’s order, which directed the Competition Commission to expedite proceedings to reconsider approval granted for Amazon-Future group investment deal of 2019.

Counsel for Amazon mentioned the case before the top court today citing urgency. The Competition Commission is constrained by the order of the high court and concluded its hearing on the case on November 24, a senior advocate representing Amazon told the Supreme Court today.

The outcome of the competition commission’s proceedings is likely to affect the Rs 1,413 crore deal between Amazon and Future group and may have repercussions on the ongoing arbitration proceedings before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre.

Also read: Amazon-Future group case: SC defers hearing due to bulky documents

Chief Justice NV Ramana encouraged the counsel for Amazon to seek relief from the competition commission or from the Delhi High Court by urging the court to give Amazon a hearing and then review its order. Ultimately, the court agreed to hear Amazon’s appeal on November 29.

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Amazon had moved the Supreme Court in appeal after the Delhi High Court passed an order directing the Competition Commission of India to decide on the issue of approval granted by the anti-trust watchdog for the 2019 deal between Amazon and Future Coupons Pvt Ltd – one of the Future group firms led by Kishore Biyani.

Also read: Employees of Future Retail urge top court to clear asset sale in Amazon dispute

The high court’s order fixing a two-week time frame for the CCI to decide on the issue was passed on a plea by the Confederation of All India Traders. Ahead of the high court’s order, the CCI was scheduled to deliberate on the issue on January 4.

Future group has been embroiled in a legal battle with Amazon since 2020 when the American e-retailer invoked arbitration to block the asset sale deal between Future Retail and Reliance Industries’ retail arm.

Future group has been urging the competition commission to reconsider the approval granted by the body for the investment deal between Amazon and Future Coupons on the grounds that the American retailer made misleading representations before the Indian regulator while seeking approval for the deal.

The CAIT had sought for the proceedings before the CCI to be expedited which led for the high court to set a deadline of two weeks from November 16 for the competition commission to conclude the matter.

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