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Amazon-Future Retail spar over violation of confidentiality clause

The conflict is over reports suggesting a Singapore arbitration panel order has been seen by some, even as it has still not been released in the public domain.

October 28, 2020 / 01:30 PM IST

The ongoing dispute between e-commerce major Amazon and Kishore Biyani’s Future Group has intensified over the alleged violation of a confidentiality clause in the agreement between the two retailers, according to an IANS report.

This conflict is over reports suggesting the order passed in a Singapore-based arbitration panel on October 25 had been reviewed by some, even though it is yet to be released in the public domain, the IANS report stated.

Amazon had initiated arbitration proceedings before the Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC) alleging violation of contract by Future Group in selling its retail business to Reliance Retail Ventures. Amazon had sought interim relief from an Emergency Arbitrator under SIAC to put a stay on the Future-RRVL transaction.

As per the agreement between Amazon and Kishore Biyani's Future Group companies, there is a confidentiality clause which says, "No party or person involved in any way in the creation, coordination or operation of the arbitration of any dispute may disclose the existence, contents or results of the dispute or any arbitration conducted under this agreement in relation to that dispute, in each case subject to those disclosures permitted by Section 24 (Confidentiality) and save as required in order to enforce the arbitration agreement and, or any award made pursuant to this agreement."

Also Read: Why is Amazon pushing hard to stop the Reliance-Future deal?


In an earlier filing, Future Retail had said, it had received a communication from the SIAC, enclosing an interim order of the Emergency Arbitrator in the arbitration proceedings under the shareholders' agreement between Amazon, Future Coupons and the promoter group and it is examining the communication and the order.

Future Retail pointed out that FRL is not a party to the agreement under which Amazon has invoked arbitration proceedings and that “it has been legally advised that actions taken by the FRL/its board, which are in full compliance of the relevant agreements and eminently in the interest of all the stakeholders, cannot be held back in arbitration proceedings initiated under an agreement to which FRL is not a party.”

"As per the advice received by FRL, all relevant agreements are governed by Indian Law and provisions of Indian Arbitration Act for all intents and purposes and this matter raises several fundamental jurisdictional issues which go to the root of the matter," it said.

"Accordingly, this order will have to be tested under the provisions of Indian Arbitration Act in an appropriate forum. In any enforcement proceedings, FRL would take appropriate steps to ensure that the proposed transaction will proceed unhindered without any delay", Future Retail added.

Disclaimer: Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Oct 28, 2020 01:30 pm
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