The Supreme Court on Monday stayed the Competition Commission of India’s April 25 order for ₹202 crore penalty recovery imposed on Amazon for its 2019 purchase of a 49% stake in a Future Group entity.
While Amazon wanted stay on the recovery proceedings, Additional Solicitor General N Venkataraman, appearing for the Competition Commission told the apex court that the officers concerned had been advised appropriately about the pendency of the matter before the SC.
A Bench led by Justice Dinesh Maheshwari while taking note of the totality of the circumstances in the case said: “It is considered appropriate and hence provided that no coercive steps shall be taken in relation to the notice dated April 25 against the appellant (Amazon) until the next date of hearing on July 17.
The CCI had on December 17, 2021, suspended its approval accorded more than two years back to the e-commerce firm to acquire a 49% stake in Future Coupons (FCPL), following a review of allegations of concealment of information while seeking regulatory nod for the deal.
The anti-trust regulator had also imposed a Rs 202 crore penalty for allegedly not being upfront about the actual scope and purpose of the deal.
Amazon was required to pay the amount by mid-February 2022.
The penalties on Amazon – ₹200 crore and ₹2 crore – were imposed separately under different sections of the law relating to reporting obligations of parties involved in a transaction.
The Future Group and Amazon have been fighting a legal battle since October 25, 2020, when Singapore’s Emergency Arbitrator passed an interim order restraining FRL from going ahead with its deal with Reliance Retail.