India’s Future Retail to Participate in Amazon Dispute Arbitration, Singapore Panel Says

NEW DELHI, Oct.20 (Reuters) – Future Retail is set to participate in arbitration over a trade dispute with Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), a Singapore arbitration panel ruled on Wednesday, rejecting the Indian retailer’s offer to ‘avoid the process.

Amazon is trying to block Future’s sale of $ 3.4 billion of its retail assets to Indian market leader Reliance Industries, accusing it of breaking contracts. Future denies any wrongdoing.

After the Singapore arbitrator suspended the deal last year in an interim decision, Future argued that it should be excluded from arbitration because Amazon had initiated it incorrectly under a contract. that he had signed with another company of the Future group.

In an order issued Wednesday, which is not public but has been reviewed by Reuters, the panel disagreed with Future. He said the three agreements at the heart of the Future-Amazon dispute should be read together, not separately, as Future argued.

The three agreements were of “composite nature,” “fairly broad and comprehensive” and the tribunal “has jurisdiction over FRL (Future Retail) in this arbitration,” the 69-page order reads.

Future and Amazon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The main arbitration proceedings will now begin in due course, people familiar with the matter said.

The dispute began after Future, India’s second-largest retailer with more than 1,700 stores, struck a deal last year to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and some other businesses to Reliance, after that COVID-19 has hit its operations hard.

Amazon intended to own some of Future’s retail assets on its own. He argued that a 2019 deal he had with a Future unit contained clauses prohibiting the Indian group from selling its retail assets to anyone on a “restricted” list that included Reliance.

Amazon has filed a lawsuit against Future before a Singapore arbitration panel, and the dispute is also ongoing in various Indian legal forums.

The outcome of the brawl involving two of the world’s richest men, Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani, could reshape India’s pandemic-stricken shopping industry and help determine whether Amazon can dull Amazon’s dominance. Reliance in India’s nearly trillion dollar retail market.

Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi Editing by Sanjeev Miglani and Mark Potter

Our standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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