In a major blow to Amazon, the NCLAT on Monday ordered Amazon to pay around Rs 200 billion – the penalty originally imposed by the CCI on the e-tailer for withholding facts – within 45 days.
“…the ‘complainant/Amazon’ has failed to fully, fully, fairly, openly and openly disclose relevant materials and has provided only limited details/disclosures in relation to its ‘acquisition of strategic rights and interests’ in ‘FRL’ and its enforcement of ‘commercial contracts'” among themselves and “FRL”…” the NCLAT said in its order.
An Amazon spokesman didn’t comment on the story, but sources told TOI that it currently has two options: appeal to the Supreme Court or seek a new Chamber of Commerce permit. Amazon will likely take the first route.
While the CCI approved Amazon’s Rs 1,500 crore investment to acquire a 49% stake in FCPL in 2019, the CCI suspended its decision in December following complaints from Future Group of Kishore Biyani, FCPL’s parent company. out.
In a multi-pronged legal battle with Future Group, Amazon has used its investment in FCPL to block the 24,700-crore Reliance futures deal, claiming that the transaction gave it intellectual property rights over Future Retail (FRL), Future Group’s flagship product , lent company, in which, among other things, the supermarket chain Big Bazaar is housed.
While RIL called off the deal to acquire core parts of Future Group in April because the latter’s secured creditors rejected the offer, the move left Future Group staring at bankruptcy proceedings.
However, in February, Reliance had moved in to take control of hundreds of Future Group stores for failure to pay fees and rent. The petroleum-to-fashion conglomerate had sublet those properties to the cash-strapped retailer. In addition, thousands of Future Group employees have received offer letters from Reliance Retail.
A spokesman for Future Group did not comment on this story.
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