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Amazon gets interim relief, Singapore court puts Future-Reliance retail deal on hold

US based e-commerce giant Amazon.com Inc. on Sunday secured interim relief in its dispute with partner Future group as the Singapore-based single-judge arbitration court issued an emergency order to restrain the Future Group’s Rs 24,713-crore deal to sell assets to billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd.

In a statement issued late Sunday, an Amazon spokesperson confirmed the development and said it got all the relief it sought, without providing specifics and expects an expeditious conclusion of the arbitration process.

Passing an interim award in favour of Amazon, former Attorney General of Singapore V K Rajah asked the Future group to put the deal on hold and said that the deal cannot go through until it finally decides the matter, sources with direct knowledge of the development said.

Reliance Jio chairman Mukhesh Ambani announces the extension of its free 4G services till March 31 under the Happy New Year Plan in Mumbai in December

The ruling was on Amazon’s request for an interim order before main tribunal hearings start.

The order, issued by an emergency arbitrator of the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), will be valid for the next 90 days until an official arbitration panel is appointed, sources said.

Amazon had agreed to purchase 49 percent of one of Future’s unlisted firms last year with the right to buy into flagship Future Retail Ltd after a period of three years to 10 years. However, on August 29, indebted Kishore Biyani owned Future group announced the deal with Reliance Retail Ventures (RRVL) to sell its retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing units.

The e-commerce giant then slapped a legal notice on Future Group, claiming its “contractual rights” had been violated and dragged the firm into arbitration proceedings.

Meanwhile, Reliance Retail Ventures said it has entered into the transactions for the acquisition of assets and business of Future Retail group under proper legal advice and the rights and obligations  are fully enforceable under Indian Law.

The Reliance retail arm has informed that it intends to enforce its rights and complete the transaction in terms of the scheme and agreement with the Future Group without any delay.

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Reliance Industries’ deal to acquire Future Group’s retail business was coupled with its launch of JioMart earlier in May. The company operates the country’s largest, fastest-growing and most profitable retail business spanning supermarkets, cash and carry wholesale business, consumer electronics chain stores, fast-fashion outlets and online grocery store JioMart.

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