Amazon’s case against the future rejected; NCLAT orders online retail giant to pay Rs 200-Cr penalty in 45 days

The National Company Law Appeals Tribunal (NCLAT) on Monday rejected Amazon’s plea challenging the decision of the Competition Commission of India (ICC), the fair trade regulator, to suspend approval of the e-commerce major’s deal with Future Coupons.

The NCLAT also upheld the Rs 200 crore fine imposed on Amazon and gave the company 45 days to pay.

The fine was imposed for failure to disclose relevant information about the suits under the Competition Act 2002, according to reports.

Upholding the ICC’s decision on Monday, the NCLAT said it fully agreed with the anti-trust watchdog that Amazon failed to make a “full, fair and candid” disclosure about its strategic interest in Future Retail Ltd – the Future Group’s listed company. who ran his flagship banner from the Big Bazaar.

A two-member bench comprising Judge M Venugopal and Ashok Kumar Mishra, upheld the ICC’s findings and ordered it to pay the Rs 200 crore fine imposed on Amazon by the fair trade regulator within 45 days of of Monday.

“This appeals tribunal is in perfect accord” with the ICC, the two-member panel said.

In December last year, CCI suspended the approval it had given in 2019, for Amazon’s deal to acquire a 49% stake in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL). FCPL is a promoter of Future Retail Ltd (FRL).

The regulator had said Amazon deleted information when seeking clearances for the transaction at the time and also fined the company Rs 202 crore.

On Monday, in addition to Amazon’s plea, the appellate court had also reserved the order on two other motions in the case filed by the Confederation of Indian Traders (CAIT) and the Federation of Consumer Products Distributors of India (AICPDF ).

(With PTI inputs)

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Anne G. Cash