HC asks CCI to expeditiously decide show cause notice issued to Amazon on investment in FCPL

PTI | New Delhi | Updated: 16-11-2021 16:55 IST | Created: 16-11-2021 16:29 IST
HC asks CCI to expeditiously decide show cause notice issued to Amazon on investment in FCPL
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The Delhi High Court Tuesday directed the Competition Commission of India (CCI) to expeditiously decide on its show cause notice to Amazon on the issue of revocation of approval given to the US company for investment transaction with FCPL which has been challenged by Future Group.

A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said the decision be taken in accordance with rules, law and government policy applicable to the facts of the case and adequate opportunity be given to the parties to be heard.

The court was hearing a petition by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) seeking to protect around 6,000 traders who had supplied goods to the Future Group amounting to Rs 10,000 crore and to recover the money from the group.

The court said it was not inclined to decide this issue and disposed of the CAIT petition.

The plea said Amazon has obtained the approval of CCI for its investment in FCPL in 2019 by deceit, fraud, misrepresentation and false representation.

CAIT, represented through senior advocate Saurabh Kirpal, said it was interested in the matter to help over 6,000 small traders recover Rs 10,000 crore from Future Group of companies to prevent and to put an end to the alleged anti-competitive activities of Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC and its group companies operating in India which already have had a disastrous effect on crores of small traders.

Additional Solicitor General N Venkatraman and lawyer Manu Chaturvedi, representing CCI, informed the court that the CCI is contemplating to call Amazon on January 4 for a hearing after which the matter will be decided.

The CAIT has prayed that between the fights of corporate giants, Amazon and Future Group, traders should not be made a scapegoat or suffer any financial loss. It said it had given a representation to the CCI seeking annulment of its approval granted to Amazon on the basis of their alleged misrepresentation about actual transactions. Amazon and Future have been locked in a bitter legal tussle after the US-based e-commerce giant dragged Future Group to arbitration at Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October last year, arguing that Future Retail Ltd (FRL) had violated a contract by entering into the over Rs 24,713 crore merger deal with rival Reliance Retail.

CAIT claimed that Amazon's claim of control over FRL through their investment in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) is illegal as the no-foreign company is allowed to own or control a multi-brand retail company such as FRL.

"Had Amazon declared their intent of such control and relevant fact in their notice to CCI at the time of seeking its approval, CCI would have never allowed such illegal transaction to happen and therefore we are expecting CCI to revoke its approval," CAIT said in a press statement.

It added that if such misrepresentations are allowed to continue, then every company would misrepresent the facts of transactions just to seek CCI's approval and subsequently carry out a different transaction camouflaged as a transaction approved by CCI.

The petitioner sought court's directions calling for all documents, records, internal notes and other information relating to the subject matter of the petition from the CCI and prayed that the commission be directed to take a decision with respect to the June 4 show cause notice within 10 days in accordance with law and the facts and circumstances of the case.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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