Amazon & India

Zephyr Lipman-Wulf, Arts & Entertainment

Amazon.com has filed for an appeal in court with India over an ongoing issue. The dispute involves Future Group, a local partner of Amazon’s, which plans to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries. 

Future Group is an operator of high end supermarkets and food stores across India. They made an agreement in August to sell its assets to oil-to-clothes conglomerate Reliance for $3.4 billion. Amazon claimed that the deal ruined the agreement Future Group had made with them in 2019. The dispute has caused issues for the future of India’s retail in grocery stores. Future Group is India’s main food supplier, and since this dispute, deciding who will be in control of markets will be a hard choice to make. By the year 2024, grocery stores are expected to be worth $740 billion and will become the superior service. 

Amazon took Future Group to a Singapore courtroom in December of 2020. The Singapore arbitrator passed an interim order in October, urging that the deal with Reliance be postponed. The Indian retail industry has maintained the order, but it has created new challenges in the Singapore court of New Delhi. Indian court regulators were left to decide the fate of Future Group’s retail deal, while Amazon was allowed to speak of any objections. During the appeal, Amazon argued that observations made by the judge in relation to the US companies with Future were inconsistent with the Singapore arbitrator’s order. The source of this information says that Singapore’s court arbitrator favored Amazon and that Amazon argued Future Group has bypassed the order in its appeal. The next appeal was held on January 13th.

After the most recent court appeal, a New Dehli judge has tried to stop Future Group from selling their assets. A few days later, a set of judges overruled that decision, letting them resume business. Amazon petitioned Indian court with an emergency arbitration order form in Singapore. This stopped Future Retail from making its deal with Reliance. Lawyers of Reliance Industries state that the deal is their only chance of dodging bankruptcy and saving their employee’s jobs. After firms from both Amazon and Future Group came together upon a partnership agreement, they allowed Singapore’s Arbitrator to settle disputes. However, Future Retail argued again that the agreement signed from the emergency arbitration order was not valid to enforce outside of Singapore. A hopefully final court appeal will be held on February 26 deciding on the agreement between Amazon and Future Group.