CCI nod for Walmart-Flipkart deal, traders' body to move court (Lead)
New Delhi : Fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of e-commerce major Flipkart by Wal-Mart International Holdings.
However, a traders' body said that it will move the court against the approval.
"@CCI_India approves proposed acquisition of Flipkart Private Limited by Wal-Mart International Holdings, Inc," CCI said in a tweet on its official Twitter handle on Wednesday.
On May 9, global retail giant Walmart Inc announced it was buying 77 per cent equity stake in the country's largest e-tailer Flipkart for $16 billion, subject to regulatory approval in India.
The acquisition of the majority stake makes the $500-billion Walmart the largest shareholder of the Flipkart group and will help accelerate its mission to transform e-commerce through digital technology.
Reacting to the development, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said that it will move the court against the CCI decision.
"It is most unfortunate that leaving aside the objections raised by CAIT in CCI, the Commission has approved the deal," CAIT Secretary-General Praveen Khandelwal said.
"Without giving any opportunity of hearing to CAIT, the CCI has flayed principle of natural justice. We deeply condemn such an attitude and will certainly move to Higher Court against the decision of CCI."
According to Khandelwal, CAIT has called for an emergency meeting of its governing council on August 19 at Nagpur.
The traders, protesting under CAIT, have denounced the deal arguing that it would create "unfair competition" and demanded that the government scrap it.
On its part, Walmart welcomed the decision and said that it remains committed to contribute to the Indian economy by supporting smallholder farmers, manufacturers, and "our Kirana" customers.
"Our partnership with Flipkart is testament to our continued confidence in our ability to contribute to this market. Flipkart is a prominent player in India with a strong, entrepreneurial leadership team that is a good cultural fit with Walmart," the company said in a statement.
"We believe that the combination of Walmart's global expertise and Flipkart will position us for long-term success and enable us to contribute to the economic growth."