Future Retail's independent directors want the Amazon deal nixed. They have written to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) accusing Amazon of concealing strategic interest in the company and asked the CCI to revoke the approval for Amazon's investment in Future Coupons – that was a deal that happened in 2019.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, JN Gupta, former executive director (ED) of SEBI and also managing director at Stakeholders Empowerment Services and HP Ranina, the corporate lawyer spoke at length about how to interpret this.
First up, Gupta said, “You would have heard independent directors writing against some decision of the board. Here, they are writing in favour of the decision of the board which I cannot understand.”
Meanwhile, Ranina said, “It’s extremely murky as to why this has been done. The only thing which I can think of is that if the independent directors inform CCI that for the first time they have now access to certain information of facts, which makes it justifiable for them to bring this to the notice of the Competition Commission and suggest that the Competition Commission may have made a mistake because of the new facts which have now emerged – that’s the only way by which they can justify this application.”
“Therefore, the only solution would be to inform the Competition Commission and to bring to the notice some new facts which have come to the light only now and that’s why they feel that they are constraint to make this now known to the Competition Commission, but even otherwise if the new facts have come to light, I think the company itself should have gone to the Competition Commission and there is no need for independent directors to act on their own. So this is a peculiar situation which has risen legally, it has no precedent at all,” said Ranina.
For the entire discussion, watch the accompanying video
(Edited by : Dipikka Ghosh)