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Indian court lifts hold on Future's $3.4 bln retail deal in setback for Amazon

NEW DELHI, Feb 8 (Reuters) - An Indian court on Monday overturned an order that had stalled Future Group’s $3.4 billion deal to sell its retail assets, two sources said, in a setback for Future’s partner Amazon.com Inc, which has challenged the sale.

A New Delhi court had last week sided with the U.S. online retailer and put Future’s asset sale to Reliance Industries on hold, leading to an appeal from the Indian retail group.

A two-judge bench hearing Future’s appeal on Monday put on hold the previous ruling, which had effectively stalled the mega retail deal, two sources familiar with the proceedings said.

Future in its appeal had said its creditors would be at “significant risk” if the Reliance deal failed.

A detailed written order has yet to be made public.

Amazon and Future did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

“It is a major setback for Amazon,” said one of the sources.

In a fight between two of the world’s richest men - Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and Reliance’s Mukesh Ambani - the U.S. giant has argued that Future breached certain contracts by agreeing to the deal with Reliance. Future has denied any wrongdoing.

Future is India’s second-largest retailer with over 1,700 stores and agreed to sell its retail businesses to market leader Reliance last year. (Reporting by Abhirup Roy and Aditya Kalra. Editing by Mark Potter)

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