CCI approves Reliance-Future deal amid strong opposition by Amazon

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In what comes as a serious blow to Amazon, Competition Commission of India granted approval to the acquisition deal between Reliance Retail and Future Group- which will see Reliance Industries’ retail arm acquire retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing assets of the Kishore Biyani-led company.

The e-commerce major had expressed dissent over the deal between Future Group and Reliance.

“The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves acquisition by Reliance Retail Ventures Limited (RRVL), Reliance Retail and Fashion Lifestyle Limited (RRVL WOS) of the retail and wholesale undertaking and the logistics and warehousing undertaking of the Future Group under Section 31(1) of the Competition Act, 2002, today,” the anti-trust regulator announced in a statement on Friday.

The INR 24,713 crore deal announced in August will bolster Reliance Industries’ fast growing retail business. It will witness six companies merging with Future Enterprises, including Future Consumer Limited, Future Lifestyle Fashions Limited, Future Retail Limited, Future Market Networks Limited, Future Supply Chain Solutions Limited, and Futurebazaar India Limited (FIL) and its subsidiaries. These will then be transferred to Reliance Retail.

“The Transferor Companies consists of several listed and unlisted companies, primarily engaged in retail, wholesale, logistics and warehousing businesses. These businesses operate on a pan-India basis, and include retail operations across segments such as food and grocery, apparel, footwear and accessories, other merchandise, etc,” CCI said.

“Post re-organisation of the Transferor Companies, RRVL and RRVL WOS will acquire retail and wholesale undertaking; and the logistics and warehousing undertaking of FEL”, it added.

RRVL WOS, a wholly-owned subsidiary of RRVL, has been recently included to carry out various businesses including the businesses proposed to be transferred to RRVL WOS as part of the proposed combination, the competition watchdog further noted.

The approval by CCI comes as a major blow to Amazon’s challenge to the deal against the deal between Reliance and Future. The US-based retail giant had sought a stay on the deal on the basis of an arbitration award by a Singapore-based arbitration panel. This has subsequently led to an intense legal battle, with Reliance Retail and Future Group intent on completing the deal.

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