Reliance-Future retail deal secures CCI approval despite objections from Amazon

23 November 2020 (Last Updated November 23rd, 2020 14:58)

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Reliance Industries' (RIL) proposed acquisition of Future group's retail assets despite objection from e-commerce giant Amazon.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Reliance Industries’ (RIL) proposed acquisition of Future group’s retail assets despite objection from e-commerce giant Amazon.

The Future Group, which owns various retailers including supermarket chain Big Bazaar, upmarket food stores Foodhall, and clothing chain Brand Factory, entered into agreement to divest its retail and wholesale business, as well as the logistics and warehousing business to Reliance for $3.38bn in August.

CCI approval came even though Amazon launched legal proceedings against Future Group for allegedly breaching the terms of a non-compete contract last month.

CCI said via social media that: “Commission approves acquisition of retail, wholesale, logistics & warehousing businesses of Future Group by Reliance Retail Ventures Limited and Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited.”

Amazon argued that the contract that they signed last year prevents Future from selling its retail assets to certain parties, including Reliance.

The e-commerce giant also approached market regulator SEBI, stock exchanges and CCI to hold the deal.

However, Future Retail denied Amazon’s allegation saying that the agreement was with the company’s largest shareholder and not with the company.

Late last month, Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) issued an interim order to hold off Future Retail Limited (FRL) deal with Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), but FRL claimed that the order is ‘not enforceable’ and it is ‘not binding’ on it.

Last year, Amazon acquired a 49% stake in one of Future’s unlisted firms, Future Coupons.