Future-Amazon deal: Delhi High Court refuses to terminate proceedings initiated by Amazon before Singapore International Arbitration Centre

The Delhi High Court on Tuesday refused to terminate the arbitration proceedings initiated by e-commerce website Amazon before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), as sought by Indian conglomerate Future Group in a petition.

The order was passed by the Single-Judge Bench of Justice C. Hari Shankar, which observed that the High Court has not expressed any opinion on the merits of the arguments raised by the parties and that the arbitration before SIAC will continue.

The SIAC has been hearing the arbitration between Amazon and Future Group over a 2019 deal of Amazon acquiring a 49 percent stake in the Future Coupons Private Limited (FCPL).

The tribunal rejected two applications filed by the Future Group on June 28, 2022, which sought termination of the proceedings.

The Kishore Biyani-led conglomerate then moved the Delhi High Court against the tribunal order.

It contended that in December 2021, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had suspended the clearance for the deal, stating that Amazon had failed to notify it about certain crucial details of its acquisition as required under Section 6(2) of the Competition Act, 2002.

As per the plea by Future, the tribunal order had failed to appreciate that CCI order is a legal barrier to continuation of arbitration proceedings, the plea stated.

The conglomerate had filed another petition objecting to an order of the tribunal, which allowed Amazon to amend the arbitration claim.