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India’s securities regulators overthrow Amazon’s plan to block $3.4b Reliance-Future deal

Global e-commerce leader Amazon met a major setback in its attempt to prevent the $3.4 billion deal between India’s retail titans Reliance Retail and Future Group with the securities regulator granting its approval for the controversial transaction.

The Bombay Stock Exchange stated in a notification on Wednesday that it had a discussion with India’s markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), and had no objection or conflicting observation on the deal. BSE’s decision is the latest setback for Amazon, which had lodged a complaint with SEBI and Indian antitrust watchdog to prevent the multi-billion deal between Future and Reliance. But it was rejected by the organizations.

The conflict started as Future sold its retail assets in August to Reliance in a deal Amazon said violated agreements Future made with the US e-commerce leader in 2019. As per the agreement, Amazon bought 49 percent in one of Future’s unlisted firms in a contract that was valued at over $100 million. As part of the deal, Future could not have sold assets to rivals, Amazon has said in court filings. In October, Amazon had won an order to halt the sale from a Singapore judge that the sides had agreed to use in case of dispute. Future later said the order was not restrictive, prompting Amazon to lodge a complaint with SEBI. Amazon has decided to continue to pursue legal remedies.

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