Jeff Bezos vs Mukesh Ambani: Battle for India’s retail crown


The arbitration proceedings between Amazon and Kishore Biyani have begun in Singapore.

The judgment in the Amazon vs Future vs Reliance matter, to be delivered by Monday, will eventually decide the fate of Reliance’s deal with the Future Group.

According to experts, Amazon’s legal salvo at Future is indirectly aimed to thwart Reliance’s attempt to establish its leadership position in the Indian retail sector.

Analysts see this as a war between world’s richest man Jeff Bezos, having a net worth of $204.6 billion, and India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani, net worth $88.4 billion, for control over India’s retail sector.

Amazon’s investment in Future Coupons Pvt Ltd (FCPL), the holding company of Kishore Biyani, is around Rs 1500 crore ($204 million), which is an insignificant amount for Amazon CEO Bezos.

Former Attorney General of Singapore VK Rajah concluded the arbitration hearing on Friday, October 16, and will deliver his ruling on or before Monday, October 26, sources said.

Rajah is the sole arbitrator in the Amazon vs. Future vs. Reliance matter.

An emergency hearing of the arbitration took place in Singapore on Friday.

Harish Salve appeared for the Future Retail (being acquired by RIL) while Singapore based lawyer Davinder Singh appeared on behalf of FCPL. Gopal Subramanium, former Solicitor General of India, appeared for Amazon.

The hearing is said to have lasted for five hours.