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CCI to meet Amazon, Future Coupons on Jan 4

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) will meet Amazon and Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL) in January next year in connection with the approval given by the commission to the e-commerce giant’s investment in FCPL, Future Retail Ltd (FRL) said in a regulatory filing on Monday. 

Independent directors of Future Retail have approached the commission to seek revocation of the nod given to Amazon’s investments into Future Coupons. 

“FCPL’s lawyers have received a communication dated 15th November 2021 from the Competition Commission of India (“CCI”) informing FCPL that CCI, after considering the application of FCPL inter-alia for a personal hearing, has decided to hear Amazon.com NV Investment Holding LLC (“Amazon”) and FCPL on 4th January 2022 in connection with the approval given by CCI for Amazon’s investment in FCPL,” said the regulatory filing by Future Retail. 

On Sunday, independent directors of FRL shot off a letter to the fair trade watchdog, citing internal communications of Amazon to establish its contradictory statements before courts and the anti-monopoly body, and sought revocation of the approval given to Amazon-Future Coupons deal. 

They accused Amazon of submitting “completely opposite information” which was “contradictory” to Amazon’s own internal communications regarding the US giant’s 2019 investments into FRL’s promoter company. 

The independent directors of FRL had written a similar letter earlier this month. 

Amazon is contesting the ₹24,713 crore deal announced last year by Future Group for sale of the retail and wholesale business, and the logistics and warehousing business to Reliance Retail, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd. 

Amazon is challenging the deal through its shares in FCPL and had approached Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC). The companies have also approached Indian courts in this matter. 

In October last year, an interim award was passed by the EA (the emergency arbitrator) in favour of Amazon that barred FRL from taking any step to dispose of or encumber its assets or issuing any securities to secure any funding from a restricted party. 

This was also upheld by SIAC last month which said FRL is a party to the ongoing arbitration between Amazon and Future group in the dispute over the sale of its assets to Reliance Retail. 

With inputs from PTI

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