NCLAT rejects Amazon’s plea, imposes ₹200 cr penalty

NCLAT, Amazon, Amazon's plea

New Delhi: The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) has rejected Amazon’s plea challenging the decision of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), which had suspend the approval for the e-commerce major’s deal with Future Coupons.

In an order, the two-member bench comprising Justice M Venugopal and Ashok Kumar Mishra, on Monday, not only upheld the views of CCI, but also directed the Amazon to to pay the penalty of Rs 200 crore within 45 days.

The bench observed that the appellate tribunal was in total agreement with fair trade regulator, CCI, which had last year suspended the approval given by it in 2019, for Amazon’s deal to acquire a 49 per cent stake in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL).

The regulator had suspended the approval on the allegations that Amazon suppressed information while seeking clearances for the transaction back then and also slapped a fine of Rs 202 crore on the company.

What is the deal?

The FCPL is a promoter of Future Retail Ltd (FRL). The Amazon had opposed FRL’s deal to sell assets to Reliance Retail as part of a Rs 24,713-crore deal, which has now been called off.

The deal was opposed by the e-commerce major on the basis of its 2019 transaction, whereby it had acquired the 49 per cent stake in FCPL.

The NCLAT concluded its hearing in April this year, over Amazon’s plea. All parties had filed revised notes of submissions along with relevant citations before the registry.

NCLAT reserves order on 2 petitions

On Monday, apart from Amazon’s plea, the appellate tribunal had also reserved the order on two other petitions in the matter filed by Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and All India Consumer Products Distributors Federation (AICPDF).

FRL was part of the 19 group companies operating in retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing segments, which were supposed to be transferred to Reliance Retail as part of a Rs 24,713 crore deal announced in August 2020. The deal was called off by the billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd in April.

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