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    India’s Anti-Trust Watchdog Clears $16Bln Walmart-Flipkart Deal

    © AFP 2018 / SAUL LOEB
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    An umbrella organization of Indian traders had impelled India’s anti-trust watchdog to stop the proposed acquisition of local e-retail giant Flipkart by America’s Walmart. The organization had argued that such an acquisition would create unfair competition, throwing small retailers out of business.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Competition Commission of India (CCI), the country's anti-trust watchdog, has approved Walmart's three-month-old acquisition bid of Flipkart. The American retail giant will now be able to seal the final deal and acquire India's largest e-commerce player Flipkart for $16 billion, gaining entry into the world's fastest growing e-commerce market. 

    READ MORE: Walmart-Flipkart Deal Triggers Concerns Over Crucial Data of Indian Consumers

    "@CCI_India approves proposed acquisition of Flipkart Private Limited by Wallmart International Holdings Inc," the CCI tweeted.  

    Walmart announced in May this year that it was acquiring about 77 percent of Flipkart for roughly $16 billion. Flipkart is expected to pick up an annual growth pace of about $200 billion in a decade, Morgan Stanley estimates.

    The US India Strategic Partnership Forum has applauded the decision of the CCI, arguing that the deal will strengthen the agriculture supply chain in India.

    "This deal is good for India as a whole. It will strengthen the agriculture supply chain and create new skilled jobs, supporting the 'Make in India' initiative," the US India Strategic Partnership Forum said in a statement.

    Meanwhile, the 60-million-strong trader community of India under the umbrella of the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) has threatened to challenge the CCI's approval in a higher court.

    READ MORE: Indian Court Issues Notices to Amazon, Flipkart for Violating Rules

    "It is most unfortunate that leaving aside the objection raised by the CAIT, the CCI has approved the deal. Without giving any opportunity of hearing to CAIT, the CCI has flayed the principle of natural justice. We deeply condemn such an attitude and will certainly move the higher court against the decision of CCI," Praveen Khandelwal, the general secretary of CAIT, said.

    The CAIT has called an emergency meeting of its governing council on August 19 at Nagpur to take stock of the situation and finalize the strategy for a nationwide movement against the deal. The CAIT contends that the acquisition would create unfair competition and drive local convenience stores out of business.

    Related:

    Walmart to Buy Controlling Stake in Indian E-Commerce Giant Flipkart for $16 Bln
    Walmart Hits a Wall in India With Fringe Group Protesting Flipkart Acquisition
    India's Flipkart Beats Amazon in High Value Sales Over Diwali
    Multi-Pronged Investigation Begins Against $16 Billion Walmart-Flipkart Deal
    Tags:
    supply chain, retailers, competition, protest, ecommerce, Walmart, India, United States
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