The Competition Commission of India has issued a showcause notice to Amazon, alleging that the online shopping website concealed facts, while seeking approval for its acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCL).
According to a letter issued on June 4 by CCI, Amazon hid factual aspects of the transaction by not revealing its strategic interest in Future Retail, when it sought approval for the 2019 deal.
Amazon is currently fighting a legal battle with Kishore Biyani-led Future Group over the latter’s plans to sell its retail businesses to Reliance Retail.
The Supreme Court is currently hearing a matter on whether an emergency arbitration award won by Amazon in the Singapore International Arbitration Centre is valid and whether the Future Group can be restrained from completing the transaction.
Future Group on Thursday submitted a copy of the showcause notice before the Supreme Court. Amazon confirmed the notice, but said as the matter was sub-judice, it was “unable to comment on the merits or substance of any allegations at this stage”.
Amazon told the apex court that Biyanis are bound by Singapore’s Emergency Arbitrator (EA) award, restraining its Future Retail Ltd from proceeding with the Rs 24,713 crore deal with Reliance Retail.
Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium, who argued for Amazon, said that EA had rightly held the group of companies doctrine is applicable in the case and the Future group company cannot take the plea that the award was not enforceable, as it was not party to the arbitral proceedings or the agreements.