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Amazon tells SEBI its partner Future Retail misleading public

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Amazon.com Inc has complained to India’s market regulator that its local partner Future Retail Ltd misled shareholders by incorrectly saying it was complying with its contractual obligations to the US e-commerce giant.

Amazon is locked in a bitter legal dispute with Future Group, which in August sold its retail assets to Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries Ltd for $3.4 billion. The deal, Amazon alleges, breaches 2019 agreements by Future.

The tussle has strained Amazon’s ties not just with Future Retail – one of India’s top retailers – but also with Ambani, Asia’s richest man, and his Reliance group, which is fast expanding its e-commerce business and threatening companies like Amazon.

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Amazon last Sunday won an injunction to halt Future’s deal with Reliance from a Singapore arbitrator both sides had agreed to use in case of disputes. The Indian retailer then said in a news release it had complied with all agreements and “cannot be held back” by the arbitration proceedings.

In the letter to the Securities & Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chairman Ajay Tyagi on Wednesday, Amazon said Future’s news release and stock exchange disclosures violated Indian regulations, urging the regulator to investigate the matter and not approve the deal.

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A spokesman for Future Group and the Biyani family declined to comment. A Future group source denied Amazon’s allegations, saying there was no question of any fraud or misleading the public or shareholders, without elaborating.

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