In escalation of the Future group-Amazon feud, Future Retail Ltd’s independent directors have urged the Competition Commission to revoke the approval given two years ago for Amazon‘s deal with Future Coupons, alleging that the e-commerce major had made false statements for getting the regulatory nod. Future Retail Ltd’s (FRL) independent directors on Sunday wrote to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) Chairman on the matter.
The CCI should immediately confirm the revocation of the approval granted to Amazon for its investment in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL), according to the letter written by the independent directors to the regulator.
“Time is of the essence and the Commission should act immediately. Any delay would result in severe repercussions,” it added.
A copy of the letter has been submitted to the stock exchanges by FRL.
According to the letter, the confirmation from the Commission will enable the independent directors to “discharge their fiduciary duties towards lakhs of small public shareholders of FRL, lenders and creditors of FRL and to protect public interest”.
The approval given by the Commission does not hold good due to the concealment and misrepresentation and false representations made by Amazon, as per the seven-page letter written to CCI Chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta.
The independent directors have also requested CCI to stop Amazon from “perpetuating its evil non-desirable designs” to make FRL bankrupt and jeopardise Rs 30,000 crore of debt extended by public sector banks to Future group.
Amazon did not respond to the queries.
In November 2019, CCI had given its approval for Amazon to acquire a 49 per cent stake in FCPL and FCPL is a shareholder in Future Retail Ltd.
According to the letter, Amazon had “not disclosed its strategic interest over FRL” while getting approval from the CCI to prevent it from referring the transaction to other governmental agencies that “would have responded that the transaction is illegal”.
“Amazon has concealed facts, made misrepresentations and false representations to the Commission,” the letter alleged.
Amazon had tried to “avoid reporting and assessment by the Commission of the actual transaction effected by Amazon including that of the commercial agreements,” the directors submitted.
The approval given by the Commission does not hold good due to the concealment and misrepresentation and false representations made by Amazon, said the seven-page letter addressed to CCI Chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta.
The letter, a copy of the letter has also been marked to SEBI Chairman, Finance Minister and the Prime Minister of India, requested CCI to stop Amazon from “perpetuating its evil non-desirable designs” to make FRL bankrupt and jeopardise Rs 30,000 crore of debt extended by public sector banks to Future group.