Amazon moves SC challenging NCLAT ruling on Future group investment
Amazon has moved the Supreme Court against the order of the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), which upheld the Competition Commission of India (CCI) order suspending Amazon’s investment in the Future group in 2019.
The court is likely to list the matter for next week.
The NCLAT, on June 13, upheld the order of CCI on December 17, 2021, not to give a nod to Amazon for its 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons Private Limited (FCPL).
FCPL is the promoter of Future Retail.
The appellate tribunal had upheld the order of the competition watchdog, imposing a fine of Rs 200 crore on Amazon.
The company was asked to pay the fine for non-disclosure of information on combinations under the Competition Act 2002.
CCI had submitted before the NCLAT that Amazon was required to clarify the ‘economic’ and ‘strategic purpose’ of the proposed investment.
“Amazon had misrepresented the scope and purpose of the proposed combination,” CCI said before the NCLAT.
Amazon had argued that it had submitted all the documents regarding the investment before the CCI.
Siding with the CCI, the NCLAT ruled that Amazon had not made full disclosure about its strategic interest in Future Retail.
Amazon said it wanted to ease foreign investor rules in India to attract foreign investments, said Kirti Dua, partner at ANG Partners, Advocates, and Solicitors.
“It had said it will not take over the Future group completely but issue cards for its corporate customers,” she said. However, CCI said the actual reason for the investment was not disclosed, which is, to develop supremacy in the market.
Future group had argued before the CCI that there was non-disclosure of key objectives and rationale.
“Determining the law will be an uphill task for Amazon since its argument that the deal was to attract foreign investment doesn’t hold much water,” Dua said.
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