Tushar Pania, a spokesman for Reliance, did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
In Indian legal circles, the ruling was seen as a further sign of the independence of the country’s judiciary, which in the past has been criticized for undermining freedom of expression.
India’s judiciary has long been considered a pillar of the country’s vast, but often recalcitrant, democracy. She recently made a number of progressive decisions, including bailing out activists arrested under strict anti-riot and terrorism laws, banning consensual gay sex, and respecting privacy rights.
The battle between Amazon and Reliance Industries is far from over.
Future Group said in a listing on Friday that with Reliance it “intends to pursue all available avenues to close the deal”. Future Group could appeal the decision of the Singapore arbitration tribunal or file a petition for review with the Supreme Court of India. Lawyers are considering best course of action, said Swetank Jain, a company spokesman.
Amazon is still facing a government antitrust investigation into its deal with a Future Group entity. At the end of last month, India’s Competition Commission issued a Show Cause notice accusing the company of not openly showing its interest in Future Retail when the agency signed the deal in 2019. (Amazon, a dominant force in e-commerce and other areas and owner of an enormous treasure trove of customer data, is also the target of antitrust reviews in the US and Europe.)
Agency chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Future Group’s supermarkets and other stores could serve as the basis for building or expanding an e-commerce empire in India, a potentially lucrative price tag. India’s online market is expected to be worth $ 85.5 billion by 2025, according to Forrester Research. Facebook, Walmart and others are also investing heavily in the country.
Sanjeev Kumar, a New Delhi-based analyst at Forrester Research, said Amazon’s foray into India’s emerging grocery retail market was aimed at combating Flipkart, which is controlled by Walmart. The country’s grocery retail market is expected to be worth $ 10 billion by 2025, he said.