After talks with India’s Future fail, Amazon continues to attack newspaper ads

NEW DELHI (Reuters) – Amazon.com said talks have failed to resolve a bitter dispute over Future Retail (FRTL.NS) Stores are charged by Reliance Industries (RELI.NS) Scam in Indian newspaper ads on Tuesday.

The US e-commerce giant has been challenging the sale of $3.4 billion of Future Group’s retail assets to the Reliance conglomerate announced in 2020, and the case is currently before the Indian Supreme Court.

“I’m sorry to say we’ve made efforts but I think nothing is possible via a solution,” Amazon attorney Gopal Subramanium told the court. “The conversation is over.”

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Sources told Reuters that Reliance, which is also India’s largest retailer, stunned Amazon when it began acquiring prized real estate on Feb. Read more

In a previous legal argument, Amazon was able to block the sale of retail assets.

But Reliance’s sudden acquisition of more than 900 Future stores shattered what some analysts called an honor coup that spoils Amazon’s chances of untangling the transfer of future assets.

After the first store takeovers, Amazon proposed separate talks from the Supreme Court hearing to resolve the issue, but on Tuesday, attorneys for both Amazon and Future agreed that those negotiations had broken down.

Amazon was seeking in the Supreme Court to send the legal dispute back to arbitration in Singapore after Future successfully obtained an Indian court order to stop those proceedings. On Tuesday, Future said it was not opposed to arbitration in Singapore.

Earlier in the day, Amazon ran big ads in leading Indian newspapers titled “Public Notice” and said the actions taken by Reliance & Future were “done in a covert manner by manipulating the constitutional courts of India”.

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Future lawyer, Harish Salvi, told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that the company did not move the stores to Reliance voluntarily.

Future said in filings this month that it cannot pay rent at many outlets due to its troubled financial position and that Reliance, which has acquired several leases, has issued it termination notices.

Reliance did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The newspaper’s announcements were intended to alert all stakeholders, including Future lenders, that transferring assets to Reliance is prohibited by law, according to a source familiar with the matter. The source was not allowed to speak to the media and refused to reveal his identity.

(The story corrects a typo in the title.)

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(Report) Submitted by Aditya Kalra and Abhirop Roy; Editing by Edwina Gibbs

Our criteria: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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