Amazon received an interim relief against its Indian partner Future Group on Sunday. A Singapore arbitration court has tentatively barred Future Group from selling its retail business to Reliance Industries Limited. Future Group has signed a deal of Rs 24,713 crore with Reliance. Last year, Amazon agreed to buy a 49 percent stake in an unlisted company of the Future Group. Along with this, there was a condition that Amazon would have the right to buy the stake of Future Retail Limited after a period of three to 10 years. Meanwhile, debt-ridden Kishore Biyani’s group recently entered into an agreement to sell its retail store, wholesale and logistics business to Reliance Industries. Against this, Amazon has moved the court of arbitration.
VK Raja, the sole arbitrator in the case of Amazon vs Future vs Reliance Industries, gave an interim judgment in favor of Amazon. He told Future Group to stop the deal for the time being. He said that the deal cannot be done until the arbitration court has reached a final decision in the matter. An Amazon spokesperson has also confirmed the arbitration court’s decision. He said that the arbitration court has granted the relief sought by the company. He said that Amazon expects the arbitration process to be completed faster.
An Amazon spokesperson said, “We welcome the decision of the emergency arbitrator. We are grateful to this order, which gives all the requisite relief. We are committed to expeditious settlement of the arbitration process. “Amazon believes that Future Group has breached the agreement with Reliance Industries by entering into an agreement with it. If the deal is completed, it would have helped Reliance almost double its presence in India’s retail sector.
A source said that an arbitration court with three members will take a final decision in the matter in 90 days. The final decision-making committee will have one member nominated by Future and Amazon and one neutral member. Sources said that Amazon’s team was favored by Gopal Subramanian, Gaurav Banerjee, Amit Sibal and Alvin Yeo. Harish Salve stood in favor of Future Retail. Earlier, the arbitration court completed the hearing on 16 October at the Singapore International Arbitration Center.
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