Daily Management Review

Amazon Dispute Order Not Binding On Company, Says India’s Future Retail


Amazon Dispute Order Not Binding On Company, Says India’s Future Retail
An order by Singapore’s trade arbitrator given in relation to a dispute between Amazon.com and India's Future Retail Ltd (FRL) given against the later, is not enforceable under Indian law and therefore is not binding on the company, the Future Group said on Sunday.
A deal with Reliance Industries to sell off FRL's retail assets for $3.4 billion was halted by an injunction from the arbitrator in favour of Amazon on October 25. In the case Amazon had argued that certain pre-existing agreements with the United States based e-commerce giant that the Indian retail group had were violated by the deal.
They wanted to press on with the deal without delays, FRL and billionaire Mukesh Ambani's Reliance said in news releases later. That set up the stage for a showdown between the Indian companies and Jeff Bezos-led Amazon.
Any attempt on the part of Amazon to enforce the order will be resisted, FRL told Indian exchanges, while also calling the proceedings before the so-called "emergency arbitrator" as void.
"FRL is also in the process of taking appropriate legal action to protect its rights," the company's regulatory filing said on Sunday.
No comments on the issue were available from Amazon.
Allegations that the Indian company had misled shareholders by incorrectly saying it was complying with its contractual obligations were separately lodged with India's markets regulator by Amazon according to reports on Saturday. FRL's filing came in response to Amazon’s filing. Amazon sought suspension of the deal's regulatory review.
All regulatory requirements had been complied by in the deal, FRL said in its Sunday filing, while also urging the market regulator and the Indian stock exchanges to continue with the process of reviewing the deal that it had struck with Reliance for a final approval.
This dispute between the companies is in relation to the decision of FRL in August to divest its retail, wholesale and some other businesses to Reliance for $3.38 billion, including debt.
According to the allegations brought by Amazon, it cited a separate 2019 deal that the company had with Amazon which prevented FRL from selling its retail assets to anyone on a "restricted persons" list which included any of the companies owned by Reliance chief Mukesh Ambani's group.
The deal specified any disputes would be arbitrated under Singapore International Arbitration Centre rules.