Big Win For Amazon Over Rival Reliance In India Top Court Battle

New Delhi- US e-commerce giant Amazon has won a major legal victory in India as the country’s top court blocks a $3.4bn deal struck by domestic rival Reliance.

Amazon, Walmart-backed Flipkart and Reliance, owned by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, are locked in a titanic battle to dominate online retail in the country of 1.3 billion people.

The acquisition of Future Group, which owns some of India’s best-known supermarket brands, such as Big Bazaar, would have strengthened Reliance’s presence in the hugely competitive e-commerce sector.

Amazon, which owned a stake in one of Future Group’s firms that reportedly included an option to buy into the flagship company, claimed that the Reliance deal amounted to a breach of contract.

The US online giant last year approached the Singapore International Arbitration Centre which put the Reliance deal on hold after finding merit in Amazon’s objections.

Amazon said the arbitrator’s order was binding, while Future contested its legality. On Friday the Supreme Court ruled that the order was valid.

The acquisition of Future Group, which owns some of India’s best-known supermarket brands, such as Big Bazaar, would have strengthened Reliance’s presence in the hugely competitive e-commerce sector.

Amazon, which owned a stake in one of Future Group’s firms that reportedly included an option to buy into the flagship company, claimed that the Reliance deal amounted to a breach of contract.

The US online giant last year approached the Singapore International Arbitration Centre which put the Reliance deal on hold after finding merit in Amazon’s objections.

Amazon said the arbitrator’s order was binding, while Future contested its legality. On Friday the Supreme Court ruled that the order was valid.

 

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