Amazon asks Competition Commission to revoke approval of Reliance-Future deal, Retail News, ET Retail

Amazon has asked India’s competition regulator to revoke its approval for the sale of Future Retail’s $ 3.4 billion retail assets to Reliance, claiming it was “illegally obtained” in violation of ‘an order to suspend the deal, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Approval of the deal was “void in the eyes of the law” as an arbitrator’s order was still in effect, according to letter sent by Inc to India’s Competition Commission (ICC) last week.

The battle between two of the world’s richest men, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and Reliance Industries Ltd boss Mukesh Ambani, marks a contest for preeminence in the booming retail market of the India, close to a trillion dollars.

The winner of the fight for Future Retail Ltd, India’s second-largest retailer and local partner of Amazon, will secure pole position in the race to meet the daily needs of more than a billion people.

CCI, Amazon, Future Group and Reliance did not respond to requests for comment.

Future said the arbitrator’s stay order was invalid, but Indian courts refused to overturn it.

If the regulator agrees with the previously unreported letter, it would be a major setback for oil conglomerate Reliance.

Amazon won an injunction against a Singapore arbitrator’s deal last year, alleging that Future violated contracts that prevented it from selling the assets to entities such as Reliance.

But the ICC then cleared the case.

Future misled the ICC and continued to seek approval of the deal, Amazon said in a letter dated Wednesday, calling the injunction a “brazen attempt to subvert the rule of law.”

Amazon has requested a personal ICC hearing to make its point.

The letter comes as Amazon is also fighting allegations that it misrepresented facts and withheld information while seeking antitrust clearance for a 2019 deal with Future Group.

Amazon has so far successfully used the contracts in this deal to block Future’s deal with Reliance.

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