Amazon India opposes Reliance's deal with Future Group, insists arbitrator's ruling be respected
Amazon Indian has written government agencies demanding that the interim order passed by a Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) emergency arbitrator barring Future Retail and Reliance Retail from executing a ventures deal be given cognizance.
In its letter to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), the BSE, and the National Stock Exchange (NSE), Amazon India noted that Future Retail and Reliance Retail should not bring the dispute to any tribunal or courts in India or anywhere else.
Amazon India pointed out that if an order passed by a tribunal such as SIAC is not followed in India, there would be international repercussions that Indian businesses maywould face.
After it was announced that Reliance Retail and Fashionstyle were buying Future Retail's assets in a $3.3 billion deal signed in August, Amazon India filed a complaint to SIAC.
Indian companies and foreign companies in India often settle disputes in Singapore to avail of its neutral jurisdiction, high integrity, and international standards.
Amazon argued that the 2019 deal struck between it and the Future Group entity included a non-compete clause, listing 30 restricted parties with which Future Retail and Future Group could not do business that included Reliance.
Furthermore, Amazon has a 4.8 percent stake in Future Retail, giving it the right of first refusal to acquire more shares in Future Retail.
On October 25, a SIAC emergency arbitrator ordered a temporary halt on Future Retail's deal with Reliance Retail and Fashionstyle until a permanent arbitration tribunal was formed after 90 days.
Future Group intends to go ahead with the agreement with Reliance Retail Ventures, arguing that if the deal falls through its retail unit will be forced into liquidation, and 29,000 people will lose their jobs.
The arbitrator emphasized that economic hardship is not a ground for disregarding legal obligations.
Amazon has a 31.2 percent market share in India's e-commerce industry, while Walmart-owned Flipkart has 31.9 percent.