Amazon moves against India's Future Group over Reliance deal

From Chandini Monnappa
BENGALURU (Reuters) - India's shares of Future Retail Ltd <FRTL.NS> fell 9% on Thursday after Amazon.com Inc sent a legal notice to Future Group claiming it would sell $ 3 in assets , $ 38 billion to Reliance Industries had breached an agreement with e-. Trading giant.
Amazon <AMZN.O>, Reliance <RELI.NS> and Walmart Inc <WMT.N> Flipkart are competing for market share in the fast growing Indian online grocery and grocery market. Analysts said Amazon's move was aimed at slowing down the Reliance future deal.
Last year Amazon had bought a 49% stake in Future Coupons Ltd, which owns a 7.3% stake in Future Retail. In August, Mukesh Ambanis Reliance decided to buy Future Group's retail stores and several other stores.
However, Amazon's investment came with contractual rights, which include a right of first refusal and a non-compete clause, ET Now reported on Wednesday.
An Amazon spokesman said he had started legal proceedings. Future Group did not respond to requests for comment.
"Amazon will try to consider all options to stop or delay the Reliance Future Deal, but Reliance has all the muscle power and it will not be an easy battle for Amazon to win in court," said Satish Meena, senior Forecast Analyst at Forrester Research.
The oil-to-telecom group, whose retail business already includes nearly 12,000 stores, is expanding its so-called new trading company, which connects convenience stores with Reliance for online delivery of food, clothing and electronics.
The shares of Future Group - Future Enterprises Ltd <FURE.NS>, Future Consumer Ltd <FTRE.NS>, Future Supply Chain Solutions Ltd <FUTE.NS> and Future Lifestyle Fashions Ltd <FLFL.NS> - traded between 5% and 9.64% after. in midday trading on Thursday.

(Reporting by Chandini Monnappa, Nivedita Balu and Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru; editing by Aditya Soni and Arun Koyyur)

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