CCI order against Amazon upheld by NCLT

Jun 13, 2022 05:22 pm

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) today upheld the Competition Commission of India's (CCI's) order passed on 17 December pertaining to non-disclosures by the US giant Amazon.

The appellate body also asked the company to deposit ₹200 crore as penalty within 45 days.

A bench led by Justice M. Venugopal in an oral pronouncement said “Amazon has failed to make fair and forthright disclosures pertaining to the 2019 deal with Future Group. The tribunal is in agreement with the CCI view and thereby directs Amazon to deposit 200 crore as penalty".

In January this year , US giant Amazon Holdings NV had moved the NCLAT against the CCI order where the competition authority had put the approval for the Amazon and Future coupons deal in abeyance.

As per the anti-trust watchdog order, Amazon was fined ₹202 crore for allegedly misrepresenting and suppressing information while seeking regulatory approval in 2019 to buy a stake in Future Coupons.

The move follows a Delhi High Court judgement on 5 January this year that suspended Amazon's arbitration proceedings in Singapore against estranged partner Future Group for contract violations.

Currently, the US giant has filed an intervention application before the Mumbai-NCLT in an attempt to restrict the banks from disposing or alienating Future Group's assets. Future group is currently facing insolvency proceedings.

The ongoing legal tussle between Amazon and Future Group is over the sale of Future’s retail assets to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd. The proposed asset sale deal is worth ₹24,713 crore entered between Future and Reliance in August 2020. RIL called off the deal in April this year since it could not get necessary approvals from the lenders of Future.