E-commerce company Amazon on Thursday moved the Supreme Court seeking to stop Future Group’s $3.4 billion (Rs 24,743 crore) retail asset sale to Reliance Industries, NDTV reported. Amazon’s decision came after the Delhi High Court put a stay on one of its previous decisions that had effectively blocked the deal.
In its plea, Amazon submitted that the High Court should have waited for a detailed order of the single-judge bench, which it stayed, before removing the hold on the deal, according to NDTV. The Jeff Bezos-owned company said that the previous court order to put the deal on hold was for protecting the interests of all parties till a decision was made on the dispute.
Chain of events so far
The matter sparked off in August after Future Group, led by Kishore Biyani, had agreed to enter the deal with Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Retail, under which it would sell its wholesale, logistics, retail, and warehouse businesses. Amazon objected to the deal, arguing that according to a separate agreement it signed with a unit of Future Group in 2019, it could not sell its retail assets to a list of companies, including Reliance. On October 25, Amazon also won an interim order by a Singapore-based arbitration panel, that put the deal on hold.
Following the development, Amazon had written to the market regulator Securities and Exchanges Board of India, the stock exchanges and the Competition Commission of India, urging them to take into consideration the Singapore arbitrator’s decision as it was a binding order and not allow the deal to go through.
Future Retail had then approached the Delhi High Court, seeking that Amazon should not interfere with the deal. Then on February 2, a single-judge bench of the High Court directed the statutory authorities to maintain status quo on the proceedings of the deal, effectively blocking it from coming to fruition. However, the decision was overturned on February 8 by a two-judge bench of the High Court, which held that bodies like the National Company Law Tribunal, CCI and SEBI, cannot be restrained from proceeding in accordance to law with regard to the deal.
Now, Amazon has approached the top court challenging the Delhi High Court’s latest decision.