Supreme Court will Friday hear an appeal filed by American e-Commerce giant Amazon challenging the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) order upholding the Competition Commission of India’s decision to suspend approval for the investment deal between the e-commerce major and a Future Group firm dating back to 2019.

In its appeal before the apex court, Amazon contended  that it had made all efforts to have a clear stance on its investment in Future Coupons, and that NCLAT had not taken cognisance of it before passing the order. 

NCLAT  had on June 13 this year upheld the CCI order (December 2021), and had directed the e-commerce giant to deposit ₹200 crore penalty (imposed by CCI) within 45 days.

Read also: NCLAT confirms CCI order nullifying Amazon’s 2019 deal with Future

“Amazon’s appeal against NCLAT order backing CCI will come up for hearing on Friday. The apex court will decide on whether to admit the appeal or not. It could also take a call on whether to stay the NCLAT order or not”, sources close to the development said.

The matter has been listed for Friday before the two member bench of Justice Dinesh Maheshwari and Justice Bela M Trivedi, they added.

It maybe recalled that the competition watchdog CCI had in December 2021 kept its earlier approval for the investment deal between Amazon and Future Coupons, a Future Group firm,  in “abeyance” after it found that Amazon did not make full and necessary disclosure about its strategic interest in its deal. Keeping its earlier approval in abeyance essentially meant that the CCI approval is suspended but not quashed. 

CCI had also imposed a ₹200 crore penalty on Amazon for allegedly misrepresenting and suppressing information while seeking regulatory approval in 2019 to buy a stake in Future Coupons. The competition watchdog while imposing a penalty held that there was a non-disclosure of Amazon’s intention and interest in Future group’s retail business under its public listed company Future Retail Ltd (FRL). 

In 2019, Amazon had invested ₹1,400 crore in Future Coupons for a 49 per cent stake. This stake buy had opened the doors for the American e-commerce giant to a 7.3 per cent stake in Future Retail. 

In 2021, some directors of the Future group companies had filed a plea before the CCI seeking a recall of its approval to the 2019 deal with Amazon. The plea was backed by the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT).