English News

  • youtube
  • facebook
  • twitter

Supreme Court rules in favour of Amazon in dispute over Future’s $3.4 bn asset sale to Reliance

Supreme Court rules in favour of Amazon in dispute over Future’s $3.4 bn asset sale to Reliance

The Supreme Court on Friday ruled in favour of US retail giant Amazon.com in a case where the Jeff Bezos-led company had sought to block its partner Future Group's $3.4 billion retail assets sale to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries.

A two-judge bench of the Supreme Court ruled that a decision by a Singapore arbitrator in October that went in favour of Amazon and put the deal on hold is valid and applicable in India.

Amazon had argued that the order is applicable to the deal that Future and Reliance were trying to push through, while Future had argued that the $3.4 deal was outside the ambit of the Singapore arbitration order.

Both the companies had agreed, when they entered into a $200 million deal in 2019, that any dispute between them would be referred to the Singapore arbitrator

Also read:  ED seeks info from Amazon over alleged flouting of FDI rules

Amazon and Kishore Biyani-owned Future Retail have been locked in legal battles over the Future Group’s deal to sell its retail assets to Reliance. Amazon claims that has the right to first refusal in buying the assets and the sale to Reliance was a violation of pre-existing contracts. Future had argued that it had the freedom to sell its supermarkets to Reliance.

Around 1,300 of Future's more than 1,700 retail outlets in 400 cities sell groceries. It has a large customer base with its budget supermarkets catering to middle-class shoppers, while its upmarket stores offer products like expensive imported cheese for the affluent class. 

Jeff Bezos and Mukesh Ambani, the world’s richest men, have clashed in the chase for this market share to forge ahead in the fast-growing Indian organised retail market. 

On July 29, the Supreme Court had reserved its judgment in Amazon’s appeal against a Delhi High Court order staying a previous order directing the attachment of properties of Future Group companies and Kishore Biyani in relation to the Future-Reliance deal.

The Supreme Court had on February 22 barred a final ruling by a tribunal reviewing Future Group’s $3.4-billion sale of retail assets until the Court heard objections from Amazon.