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amazon: Delhi HC stays Amazon-Future’s S’pore arbitration

NEW DELHI: Taking note of some of the findings of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against Amazon, the Delhi high court on Wednesday stayed the Amazon-Future arbitration before a Singapore tribunal.
A bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and justice Jyoti Singh cited certain paragraphs in the CCI order on “suppresion of material facts” by Amazon to underline that there is a prima facie case in favour of Future Retail (FRL) and Future Coupons (FCPL) and if a stay is not granted, it will cause an irreparable loss to them. The HC said the balance of convenience is also in favour of the appellants and further stayed the order passed by single judge.
The arbitration is going on before a three-member arbitral tribunal over the Future group‘s Rs 24,500-crore deal with Reliance.
The single judge had dismissed the Future group’s plea seeking a direction to the arbitration tribunal, adjudicating Amazon’s objections against the former’s deal with Reliance, to take a decision on its application for terminating the arbitration proceedings before moving further. “We stay further proceedings of the arbitral tribunal till the next date of hearing and we also stay the single judge’s January 4 order till the next date of hearing,” the bench said, while listing the matter for next hearing on February 1.
The HC also issued a notice to NV Investment Holdings LLC on the appeals filed by FRL and FCPL, challenging the single judge’s order.
Amazon and the Future Group have been locked in a bitter legal tussle after the US e-commerce giant dragged the latter to arbitration at the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) in October 2020. Amazon argued that FRL violated their contract by entering into a deal for sale of its assets to Reliance Retail on a slump sale basis for Rs 24,500 crore.

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