India’s Future Group Agrees To Hold Negotiations Offered By US Ecommerce Giant Amazon
American e-commerce giant Amazon.com and the Future Group, the second-largest retaining company of India, have agreed to hold negotiations as proposed by the online retailer to find a solution to end the legal tussle between the two companies as both the firms strive to become the dominant player in the vast retailing sector of India.
Amazon proposed the talks in a surprising move. About a week ago, the largest conglomerate of India and Amazon’s biggest rival in the Indian market – Reliance, started the acquisition of the assets of Future, including complete control over about 500 stores of the Future Group throughout the country.
“Amazon, which has been in combative mode, is now in conciliatory mode,” a lawyer who is reportedly involved in the legal dispute was quoted as saying in media reports.
No comment on Amazon and the Future Group was available.
During a hearing at the Supreme Court on Thursday, a lawyer for the American e-commerce giant, Gopal Subramanium, suggested that the two warring parties should negotiate a truce and said that the “whirlpool” of disputes that were being fought on multiple fronts was going on for too long for the comfort of both the companies.
“All that I’m saying is let us at least have a conversation. We cannot allow the spinners’ wheel to continue like this. Please consider this,” Subramanium said in court. “We must agree, discuss… come face-to-face and discuss the best possibilities.”
The proposal for the negotiations was agreed to by Harish Salve, standing as the lawyer for the Future Group, and said: “nobody is winning in this battle.”
The court allowed the two parties ten days to come to a potential solution to resolve the legal battles.
Amazon has successfully halted Future’s $3.4 billion asset transfer to Reliance since 2020, claiming that its business partner has breached vital commitments. Future denies any wrongdoing, but a Singapore arbitration and Indian courts have backed the company’s position.
Even though the matter is in the courts, Reliance had moved through with renaming the stores and began taking ownership of the precious real estate last month when Future failed to make rental payments, according to sources.
Due to Reliance’s acquisition, operations at hundreds of Future Retail locations throughout India have been halted.
According to reports, Amazon intends to initiate a criminal complaint against Future for enabling assets to be transferred to Reliance.
Future’s lawyer Salve highlighted reports at the Supreme Court hearing after consenting to the talks and seeking guarantees that Amazon would not take criminal action during the negotiations.
Responding to the statement, Subramanium said he would advise Amazon “not to do anything to exacerbate the situation.”
There were no comments on the issue from Reliance.