NCLAT refuses to stay CCI order, agrees to hear Amazon's petition
The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has refused to grant a stay on the Competition Commission of India’s order that withheld approval to Amazon Inc’s acquisition of a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd — effectively spiking the US retail giants attempt to block the Rs 24,713 crore sale of Future Retail Ltd to Reliance Retail.
The tribunal admitted Amazon’s petition but refused to grant a stay.
The CCI order has already scuttled proceedings of the Singapore Arbitration Tribunal’s hearing in the dispute between the Future group and Amazon.
Meanwhile, the Future Group is pressing for Supreme Court’s approval to close the deal with Reliance after the CCI order.
Amazon’s counsel Gopal Subramanium told the tribunal that under the terms of the deal with Future Coupons, the money invested in the company would be “transmitted to Future Retail — and that had been clearly disclosed to the CCI”.
The CCI has said it had been “misled” about the real intent behind Amazon’s investment in Future Coupons.
The tribunal has issued notices to the CCI, Future group, CAIT and seeks their reply to Amazon’s plea within the next 10 days. The next hearing is on February 2.
The copies of replies and rejoinders shall be exchanged between the parties well in advance before the next hearing, said NCLAT.
A two-member bench comprising Justice M. Venugopal and V. P. Singh of the Principal bench also directed Amazon to file a convenient compilation of the voluminous petition it has filed for the purpose of their adjudication.
The appellate tribunal noted that the petition filed by Amazon has over 50 volumes with over 12,000 pages, and also directed the other parties to file a brief note of submissions.