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Homechevron_rightBusinesschevron_rightNCLAT upholds CCI...

NCLAT upholds CCI ruling to suspend approval for Amazon-Future deal; Rs 200 crore penalty imposed

NCLAT upholds CCI ruling to suspend approval for Amazon-Future deal; Rs 200 crore penalty imposed

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on Monday rejected Amazon's plea challenging the decision of fair trade regulator CCI to suspend the approval for the e-commerce major's deal with Future Coupons, PTI reported.

A two-member bench of Justice M Venugopal and Ashok Kumar Mishra, upheld the Rs 200 crore fine imposed on Amazon and granted the company 45 days to pay. This fine is for non-disclosure of relevant information on combinations under the Competition Act, 2002.

"This appellate tribunal is in complete agreement" with the CCI, the two-member bench said.

The CCI December last year had reversed its previous approval given by it in 2019 and suspended the decision for Amazon's deal to acquire a 49 percent stake in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL). The reason for the suspension of its previous approval was because Amazon had suppressed information while seeking clearances for the transaction back then, the fair trade regulator had said and also slapped a fine of ₹ 202 crores on the company.

FCPL is a promoter of Future Retail Ltd (FRL). 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 ₹ 24,713 crore deal announced in August 2020. But that deal was called off by the billionaire Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd in April after Future Group's secured creditors had rejected the agreement.

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

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