Amazon on Tuesday informed the SC regarding the failure of its talks to the Biyani Group and Reliance for dispute settlement over the Future Retail's assets control and forced for the continuity of its stalled international arbitration Proceeding along with Future Coupons.
Shortly after Reliance Retail staged a coup by assuming control of roughly 600 Future Retail outlets, Amazon indicated to the Supreme Court on March 3 that it was willing to negotiate an amicable solution with the Biyani Group, which controls the Future Group. According to the court, the negotiations should also include Reliance Retail.
Senior attorney Gopal Subramaniam advised a panel of Chief Justice N V Ramana and Justices A S Bopanna and Hima Kohli that the negotiations had failed to produce a conclusion and that the arbitration procedures should begin immediately.
Amazon stated that it was open to the arbitral tribunal giving preference to Future Coupon's plea for termination of arbitration proceedings because the Competition Commission had suspended its previous judgment to enable Amazon to invest in Future Coupons.
Amazon opposed Future Retail's plan to sell its store network to Reliance Retail for roughly Rs 25,000 crore because of the Rs 1,473-crore investment in Future Coupon. The arbitral tribunal had issued an interim stay of execution on the accord.
Taking a direct shot at Reliance Retail, which has yet to be named in either the arbitration proceedings or the multi-layered lawsuits between Amazon and Future Group, Subramaniam claimed that Reliance Retail has shown complete disregard for the SC's orders by taking over nearly 600 Future Retail stores through a backdoor method and asked the SC to prevent Future Retail from handing over the remaining 300 stores to Reliance.
Senior counsel Harish Salve, representing Future Retail, stated that Reliance had not taken over the stores. "Amazon-initiated lawsuits have forced Future Retail into bankruptcy." It didn't have enough money to pay the shopowner's rent for two years, which had accrued to Rs 250 crore. The lease was terminated by the landlords. Reliance went ahead and paid the money to take over the leases. However, no assets have been transferred to Reliance."
"We've run out of money." We would have had some money if Amazon had not stymied the plan to sell assets to Reliance. The harsh fact is that we are bankrupt. Salve stated, "Reliance did what it was entitled to under local legislation." Because a settlement was ruled out, the court directed Amazon to apply for a temporary injunction.