India’s Future discloses new documents to bolster case against Amazon deal.
In a letter to India’s antitrust authority, Future Retail’s independent directors revealed additional papers in an attempt to enhance their case against Amazon.com Inc as they seek to annul a 2019 pact between the two companies.
The directors reviewed records related to the 2019 deal between a group unit, Future Coupons, and Amazon, according to a 160-page stock exchange filing on Sunday, and argued that Amazon’s disclosures before the Competition Commission of India (CCI) when it sought approval of the deal contradicted Amazon’s own internal communications at the time.
On Sunday, Amazon and the CCI did not respond to a request for comment on the revelation.
The legal struggle between the two businesses, which is centered on Amazon’s $200 million investment in Future Coupons, has escalated into a high-stakes war that could determine who will be the dominating player in India’s retail market in the coming years.
Future’s proposed sale of retail assets to rival Reliance for $3.4 billion was effectively blocked by Amazon, which the Indian company is counting on to keep its business afloat.
Future’s directors told the CCI in a Nov. 10 letter that Amazon had no plans to invest in Future Coupons because of its “unique business strategy and great development potential,” as it said while seeking approvals, according to the Sunday filing.
Instead, due to Indian law restrictions, an internal email from an Amazon India executive to other top Amazon officials titled “Future Retail Limited Investment” stated that the US company was employing a “‘twin-entity investment’ structure to invest in Future Retail.”
“The CCI must cancel the approval given for Amazon’s investment,” Future’s independent directors wrote in their letter.
Their lawsuit is the latest shot in a long-running legal fight.
After comparing legal disclosures made by Amazon at multiple venues, Reuters exclusively reported in July that the CCI had evaluated a complaint from Future and then accused Amazon of omitting facts when seeking clearance for the 2019 deal.
At the time, the business told Reuters that it was confident in its ability to address the watchdog’s concerns.
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