Delhi High Court (HC) on Wednesday stayed the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) arbitration proceedings in the Amazon-Future case and also stayed a single judge’s order, dismissing Future’s Group’s plea seeking direction to the arbitration tribunal to take a decision on its application for terminating the arbitration proceedings before moving further.
The Amazon-Future Group arbitration is going on between a three-member arbitration tribunal over the Kishore Biyani-led company deal with Reliance Retail (RRL) worth Rs 24,500 crore.Future Group filed appeals before the division Bench of the Delhi HC, challenging Tuesday’s order by a single Bench of the Delhi HC. On Tuesday, HC dismissed Future Group’s petitions seeking a direction to the SIAC to decide on its application for terminating the arbitration proceedings. A Bench of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice Jyoti Singh said there is prima facie a case in favour of appellants Future Retail (FRL) and Future Coupons (FCPL) and if a stay is not granted, it will cause irreparable loss to them.
“We hereby stay further proceedings of the arbitral tribunal till the next date of hearing, and we also stay the single judge’s January 4 order till the next date of hearing,” the Bench said, while listing the matter for further hearing on February 1.
The HC also issued a notice to Amazon.com NV Investment Holdings LLC on the appeals filed by FRL and FCPL, challenging the single judge’s order.
In December 2021, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) suspended Amazon’s 2019 deal with FCPL for its alleged deliberate design to suppress information about the scope and purpose of the deal. The competition watchdog also said in its order that Amazon made false and incorrect statements while seeking approvals. In its order, CCI said it considered necessary to examine the combination afresh, given that both players were known in the online marketplace and offline retailing and had contemplated strategic alignment between their businesses.