Home Outlet store EXCLUSIVE Amazon plans to file criminal complaint against India’s Future over store transfers – sources

EXCLUSIVE Amazon plans to file criminal complaint against India’s Future over store transfers – sources

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  • Amazon set to escalate legal fight with Future – sources
  • Amazon angered by Reliance taking over Future stores -sources
  • US group plans to file criminal complaint in New Delhi

NEW DELHI, March 2 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc plans to file criminal proceedings this week against its Indian partner Future Retail (FRTL.NS) for allowing the transfer of assets to a major competitor despite a legal ban, three sources with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

For more than a year, Amazon and Future Group have been in a legal stalemate that has stalled Future’s $3.4 billion asset sale to Reliance Industries (RELI.NS).

Amazon has successfully halted the sale of assets from Future to rival Reliance since 2020 citing breach of certain contracts.

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Future, India’s second largest retailer, denies any wrongdoing. Amazon’s position was backed by a Singapore arbitrator and Indian courts. Read more

Reuters reported this week that Reliance had begun taking over around 500 Future stores, rebranding them as its own outlets. Read more

Reliance had previously transferred the leases of some of Future’s flagship supermarkets into its name, but allowed Future to continue to operate them. Reliance has now started taking possession of it after Future failed to pay rent to it, sources said. Read more

Amazon plans to file criminal charges against Future in a New Delhi court and urge the court to order an investigation into the matter, said one of the sources, who has direct knowledge of the plans.

Two other sources said the lawsuit could be filed as early as this week.

Future, Amazon and Reliance did not immediately respond to emails from Reuters seeking comment.

Amazon will allege Future withheld information during legal proceedings and transferred its store leases to rival Reliance, even though a Singapore arbitrator halted any transfer or disposal of assets in the pending litigation, it said. added the first source.

“This will be Amazon’s last attempt (to stop the deal),” the source said.

The plan to initiate criminal proceedings would mark a significant escalation in the legal battle between Amazon and its Indian rivals – Future Retail and Reliance, which is led by Indian billionaire Mukesh Ambani.

The protracted fight over Future’s assets is seen as a battle for retail supremacy between Reliance and Amazon in India’s booming retail market.

By blocking the Future-Reliance deal, Amazon has long argued that Future violated the terms of a 2019 deal in which the US company invested $200 million in part of the Indian company.

The debt-laden Future previously said Amazon was wrongfully interfering in its retail business.

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Reporting by Aditya Kalra in New Delhi. Editing by Euan Rocha and Jane Merriman

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