On Thursday, Future Retail Ltd (FRL) stood before the Delhi High Court. FRL argued that Amazon is misstating their legal rights. They stated that Amazon is trying to interfere with FRL’s deal with Reliance’s retail arm. They have pointed out that the HC should not let the American conglomerate smash the business transaction between FRL and Mukesh Ambani led Reliance.
Amazon and Future Group are at war with each other. This is due to Future Group’s decision to sell their retail assets to Reliance. Amazon has claimed that the deal violated their ‘contractual rights’. Later on November 7, FRL decided to move the Delhi HC against Amazon.
Appearing for FRL, Senior Advocate Harish Salve stood in front of Delhi HC and said that Amazon is not present from the agreements between the shareholders between Future Retail and Future Coupons. Thus, they have no control over Future Retail. Salve also added that Amazon’s investments are restricted to Future Coupons.
“If Amazon doesn’t have skin in the game, it can’t object to the scheme,” said Salve in front of the HC.
Furthermore, he added that as per the Companies Act, entities with less than 10 percent of the shareholdings can’t object to the scheme.
Salve added, “Passive holding of less than 10 percent does not entitle one to object to such schemes. Amazon is misrepresenting to the world that FRL has flouted a dishonest agreement. Amazon has no rights over FRL and can’t control the board of FRL which is free to act.”
FRL also stated their stand in front of the HC stating that any claims that Amazon makes lie against Biyanis’ Future Coupons.
Amazon is behaving like the East India Company of 21st Century: Adv. Salve
“Amazon looking to cause delays and this will hurt employees, public shareholders, and stakeholders. The emergency arbitrator award is a piece of paper, nothing more, ” said Salve. Moreover, he said that Amazon is behaving like the East India Company of the 21st Century. He argued that Amazon’s ideology exists in the fact that you can either do business with them or shut down completely.
He added, “They think that they have the right to bring FRL to a grinding halt. This is why we have competition law so that competition remains. These kinds of clauses destroy competition. Please stop this company from wrecking this transaction.”
The FRL’s plea sought to prevent the US e-commerce giant from approaching regulatory bodies such as the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against the retailer’s deal with Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL). After hearing FRL’s side for 4 hours, the court adjourned the case till Friday. Amazon would provide further arguments on Friday.
Senior advocate Darius Khambata also joined Salve for FRL. He presented different facets against the Singapore Court Order’s validity.
Khambata asserted that the decision from the emergency arbitrator from Singapore is completely void. He added, “The thrust of the act or misrepresentation by amazon in front of SEBI is based on this award. They show the award to SEBI and then they reproduce certain findings. They further explain that the order is binding.” Calling it a complete falsification of the legal position, Khambata added, “It is their express case before the regulator that the award is binding.”