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NCLAT upholds 200 crore fine dealt to Amazon by CCI

NCLAT on June 13 upheld the ₹200 crore penalty dealt to Amazon by the CCI and also upheld the suspension of the Amazon–Future Coupons deal.

What's the news? The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) on June 13 upheld the ₹200 crore penalty handed to Amazon by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and also upheld the suspension of the Amazon–Future Coupons deal, ANI reported. Give me context: CCI on December 17, 2021, suspended the approval it gave for Amazon’s investment in Future Coupons in 2019 and imposed a ₹200 crore penalty on the company for concealing information while seeking approval. At the heart of the issue is the allegation that Amazon, while seeking approval, did not disclose that it had a strategic interest in Future Retail through its investment in Future Coupons. Amazon then approached the NCLAT arguing that CCI does not have the power to revoke the agreement. However, a two-member NCLAT bench comprising Justice M. Venugopal and Ashok Kumar Mishra on Monday agreed with CCI that Amazon failed to make a "full, fair, forthright" disclosure about its interests in Future Retail and ordered Amazon to pay the fine within 45 days. Why does this matter? This CCI order was a huge blow to Amazon because Amazon had used its investment in Future Coupons to block the sale of Future Retail to Reliance. Based on this CCI ruling, Future Group approached the Delhi High Court and asked the court to stop the arbitration proceedings being held at a Singapore arbitration tribunal, which the court subsequently did. Nevertheless, Amazon, as recently as this month, warned Future Group from directly or indirectly going ahead with the sale to Reliance stating that it would take…

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