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Refusing To Grant Interim Relief, NCLAT Admits The Amazon's Appeal Against CCI's Order

Nitya Bakshi
13 Jan 2022 6:28 PM GMT
Refusing To Grant Interim Relief, NCLAT Admits The Amazons Appeal Against CCIs Order
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The NCLAT Bench comprising of Justice M. Venugopal and Mr. V.P. Singh in Amazon.com NV Holdings LLC v. Competition Commission of India & Ors. refused to grant interim relief to Amazon against its plea challenging the order of the Competition Commission of India which suspended its deal with Future Coupons Pvt. Ltd. The order was passed by the Competition Commission on 17th...

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The NCLAT Bench comprising of Justice M. Venugopal and Mr. V.P. Singh in Amazon.com NV Holdings LLC v. Competition Commission of India & Ors. refused to grant interim relief to Amazon against its plea challenging the order of the Competition Commission of India which suspended its deal with Future Coupons Pvt. Ltd. The order was passed by the Competition Commission on 17th December, against which the Amazon-Group filed an appeal before the NCLAT and also approached the Supreme Court by way of Special Leave Petition, which is presently being heard by the Court.

Amazon argued before the Tribunal that a twin entity investment structure was adopted by Amazon and Future group according to the existing Foreign Direct Investment(FDI) laws in India. According to the share-subscription agreement, Amazon would invest Rs. 1,431 crore in Future Coupons Pvt. Ltd., which would directly be transmitted to Future Retail Ltd. It was argued that this information and the agreement were disclosed to the Competition Commission of India.

Senior Advocate Gopal Subramanium, appearing for Amazon, also argued that as per the terms of the agreement, Future Retail could not alienate its assets or deal with certain restricted parties such as the Reliance Industries. Thus, by announcing its asset sale deal to a wholly owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Ltd., Reliance Retail, Future Retail breached its contractual obligations, being a related party to FCPL.

It directed the Competition Commission of India and FCPL to file its reply within the next ten days and Amazon to file a rejoinder before the next date of hearing.

The Tribunal also directed both the parties to file a 'Convenience Compilation' and notes of submissions.

The Competition Commission of India urged the Tribunal to not pass any order granting interim relief and stated that it was ready to argue the matter whenever asked.

The next date of hearing in the matter is 2nd February. This is a day before Amazon is required to pay its penalty of Rs. 202 crore which was imposed by the CCI vide its order dated 17th December.

Case Title:Amazon.com NV Holdings LLC v. Competition Commission of India & Ors.

Citation: Competition Appeal (AT) No. 01 of 2022

Counsel for Appellant: Mr. Gopal Subramaniam, Mr. Amit Sibal, Mr. Arun Kathpalia and Mr. Nakul Dewan, Sr. Advocates with Mr. Pavan Bhushan, Ms. Ujwala Uppaluri, Ms. Hima Lawrence, Mr. Kaustubh Prakash, Mr. Vinay Tripathi, Ms. Bani Brar, Mr. Anand S. Pathak, Mr. Shashank Gautam, Mr. Amit Kumar Mishra, Ms. Sreemoyee Deb, Ms. Anubhuti Mishra, Mr. Rajat Moudgil, Mr. Reshabh Juneja, Mr. Mohit Singh, Mr. Shivam Pandey, Ms. Samridhi Hota, Mr. Vijay Purohit, Ms. Nikita Bangera, Mr. Chetan Chawla, Ms. Didon Misri, Mr. Saksham Dhingra, Mr. Aishvary Vikram Singh, Advocates.

Counsel for Respondents: ASG NV Venkatraman, with Mr. Manu Chaturvedi and Sainyat Lodha, Advocates for R-1.

Ms. Shama Nargis (Deputy Director Law, CCI)

Mr. Harish Salve, Sr. Adv., Mr. Ramji Srinivasan, Sr. Adv. with Mr. Mahesh Agarwal, Mr. Rishi Agrawala, Mr. Samir Ali Khan, Mr. Raghav Shankar, Mr. Pranjit Bhattacharya, Ms. Rajshree Chaudhary, Advocates for R-2.

Mr. Krishnan Venugopal, Sr. Adv and Mr. Saurabh Kirpal, Sr. Adv with Mr. Rajat Sehgal, Ms. Tanima Gaur, Advocates for R-3.

Click here to read/download the order

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