NCLAT issues notices on Amazon's plea against CCI order suspending approval for deal with Future Coupons
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal NCLAT on Thursday issued notices over a petition filed by Amazon challenging fair trade regulator CCIs suspension of its over two-year-old approval for the e-commerce majors deal with Future Coupons Pvt Ltd FCPL.The appellate tribunal has directed the Competition Commission of India CCI and FCPL to file their replies in the next 10 days, while Amazon can file a rejoinder in 3 days.
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Thursday issued notices over a petition filed by Amazon challenging fair trade regulator CCI's suspension of its over two-year-old approval for the e-commerce major's deal with Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL).
The appellate tribunal has directed the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and FCPL to file their replies in the next 10 days, while Amazon can file a rejoinder in 3 days. NCLAT has set February 2 as the next date of hearing.
The copies of replies and rejoinders shall be exchanged between the parties well in advance before the next hearing, said NCLAT. A two-member bench comprising Justice M Venugopal and V P Singh of the Principal bench also directed Amazon to file a convenient compilation of the voluminous petition it has filed for the purpose of their adjudication.
The appellate tribunal noted that the petition filed by Amazon has over 50 volumes with over 12,000 pages, and also directed the other parties to file a brief note of submissions.
''The counsel appearing for the respective parties are required to file the Convenience Compilations/ necessary documents/material papers 'for ease of convenience' and 'notes of submissions' containing not more than five to seven pages together with relevant Citations which they rely upon before the Office of the Registry not only through e-filing but also through the Hard copy,'' said NCLAT.
The bench said it wanted the pleading to be complete before taking any decision to stay a Rs 202-crore penalty imposed on Amazon.
NCLAT is an appellate authority for the orders passed by the CCI.
The commission has put its approval for the Rs 1,431 crore deal to acquire a 49 per cent stake in FCPL in abeyance and directed to seek a fresh one after filing Form II.
''Commission itself has said in the order that these proceedings are different from the arbitration but because this approval has kept in abeyance, they want to even stultify the arbitration,'' he added.
Now that it is suffering from an injunction from an order passed by the emergency arbitrators from SIAC on the grounds of breach of agreement, it files a complaint before the fair trade regulator, he said.
''On the basis of this order, he (Future Group) says close the arbitration,'' Subramaniam said, adding the Supreme Court in its judgement of August 6, 2021 held the order passed by the emergency arbitrator as a ''valid order'' and enforceable.
''Therefore, we give the opportunity to parties to file replies,'' the bench said.
Last month, the CCI had suspended the Amazon-FCPL deal saying that the US e-commerce major had suppressed information while seeking clearances for the transaction back then.
In a 57-page order, CCI had said the approval for the Amazon-Future Coupons deal ''shall remain in abeyance''.
Amazon and Future have been locked in a bitter legal tussle after the US e-commerce giant dragged Future Group to arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October 2020, arguing that Future Retail Ltd (FRL) had violated their contract by entering into a deal for the sale of its assets to billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance Retail on a slump sale basis for Rs 24,713 crore.
Recently, Future Retail had also approached SIAC to stay the arbitration proceedings on the basis of the order passed by CCI.
However, SIAC had rejected the plea.
The said order has also been challenged by Amazon before the Supreme Court.
SIAC is adjudicating Amazon's objections against Future Group's Rs 24,713-crore deal with Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd, announced in August 2020, for sale of the retail and wholesale business, and the logistics and warehousing business.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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- Reliance Retail
- Amazon-Future Coupons
- Form II
- Mukesh Ambani's
- Future Group's
- The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal
- Justice M Venugopal
- Gopal Subramaniam
- Future Group
- Delhi High Court
- Future Coupons Pvt Ltd
- Supreme Court
- Reliance Retail Ventures Ltd
- N Venkataraman