Amazon accuses Future Retail and its promoters of 'fraud' in newspaper ads

Amazon has been contesting the planned $3.4 billion sale of Future Group's retail assets to Reliance
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Amazon on Tuesday took out advertisements in Indian newspapers accusing Reliance Industries and Future Retail (FRL) of fraud after Reliance recently took over many of Future's stores

In ads headlined Public Notice, Amazon stated, “FRL, and its promoters have consistently acted in violation of the order passed by the emergency arbitrator and reaffirmed by the Arbitral Tribunal.”

Amazon has been contesting the planned $3.4 billion sale of Future Group's retail assets to Reliance and the case is currently before the Supreme Court.

The dispute goes back to August 2020 when Future Retail attempted to sell a minority stake of Future Retail (FRL) to Reliance Retail Ventures.

However, FRL was prohibited from selling its retail assets to ‘restricted persons’, which included Mukesh Ambani. This was stated in the shareholder agreement when Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings infused Rs 1,431 crore in Future Coupons (FCPL) in 2019. The case is currently before the Indian Supreme Court.

Reliance began taking over the disputed real estate on February 25, when its staff showed up at many of Future's biggest stores to assume control, Reuters reported

These actions have been done in a clandestine manner by playing a fraud on the constitutional courts in India, the Arbitral Tribunal and Indian statutory authorities,” Amazon stated in the Public Notice. 

Earlier this month, Amazon.com and the Future Group agreed to hold talks to resolve the ongoing dispute. 

On October 5, 2020, Amazon initiated arbitration proceedings for emergency interim relief under the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) Rules to block the deal between Future Retail and Reliance Retail Ventures.

The Emergency Arbitrator passed an ‘interim order’ dated October 25, 2020, which stalled the deal.

Edited by Rajiv Bhuva

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