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Last updated at 14:11 BST, Friday, 07 May 2010

Billionaire brothers battle

Summary

7 May 2010

India's top court has issued a ruling in a long-running gas-pricing dispute between the billionaire Ambani brothers.

The dispute has fascinated the country for years.

Reporter:
Shilpa Kannan

Anil Ambani

Anil Ambani

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Report

The case involves the terms of a deal under which Reliance Industries was to supply Reliance Natural Resources, headed by Mukesh Ambani's brother Anil, with a pre-agreed amount of gas for 17 years at a rate 44% below the rate set by the government.

But the court order stated that the government has a right to fix a price for the gas, and that two individuals cannot decide the price of a national asset. The court asked the two brothers to thrash out a fresh agreement within six weeks.

But the dispute involves more than just sibling rivalry. The KG Basin is India's biggest gas find and could nearly double the nation's gas output when it is at full production. The outcome could set a basis for future regulations on gas pricing in India and influence foreign investment in the country.

The five-year battle between the billionaire brothers has dominated national news and the verdict in favour of the country's most valuable company is expected to influence trading in the stock markets.

Shilpa Kannan, BBC, Delhi

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Vocabulary

the terms of a deal

the details of an agreement that was made

headed by

led by, run by, managed by

rate

price

to fix a price

to decide what the price should be

a national asset

something of value that belongs to the country

to thrash out

to work together to come to an agreement

sibling rivalry

competition between brothers and sisters

the outcome

the result

the verdict

the legal decision given by a court

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