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    The logo of India's e-commerce firm Flipkart is seen on the company's office in Bengaluru, India April 12, 2018

    Indian Traders' Body Files Petition Against $16 Billion Walmart-Flipkart Deal

    © REUTERS / Abhishek N. Chinnappa
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    The Confederation of All India Traders has argued in its petition before the country’s competition watchdog that Walmart’s acquisition of a 77% stake in Flipkart would result in unfair market conditions for competitors and predatory pricing.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — American retail giant Walmart's dream of expansion in India — one of the world's largest markets — has encountered a legal hurdle with the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) filing an objection to its $16 billion acquisition deal with India's biggest e-commerce player, Flipkart.

    CAIT has over seven million members and has strong political links. The traders' body approached the country's competition watchdog on Monday, claiming that the Walmart-Flipkart deal would create unfair competition and result in predatory pricing.

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

    "The CAIT has strongly objected the merger of two companies as Walmart which is world's largest retailer will create an unfair competition and uneven level playing field and will indulge in predatory pricing, deep discounts, and loss funding," CAIT claimed in its petition.

    Walmart, which is arguably the world's largest retailer, would sell its inventory on the Flipkart.com platform either directly or through a web of associated preferred sellers with the result that their market share would rise exponentially and pure offline retailers/wholesalers would have two options: either exit the market or sell their goods on Flipkart.com and face discriminatory terms and conditions from Flipkart.com in comparison to its preferred sellers, the petition further read.      

    "The deal is bound to circumvent established laws and Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) policy of the government since the ultimate object of Walmart is to enter the retail trade of the country and in the absence of any policy on e-commerce or retail trade, it would be easy for Walmart to reach out to retail market, which otherwise it cannot enter due to FDI policy," Praveen Khandelwal, general secretary of CAIT, told Sputnik.

    READ MORE: E-commerce Firms Eye Big Gains as India Mulls Adapting Commercial Use of Drones

    After 19 months of negotiations, Walmart struck a $16 billion deal earlier this month with Flipkart, which controls approximately 39% India's e-commerce market. In announcing the deal, Walmart had warned its shareholders that the purchase would reduce its net income by at least $750 million this year and by more than double that amount next year.

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    Tags:
    retail, foreign direct investment (FDI), ecommerce, trade, opposition, Walmart, America, India
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