Walmart's Flipkart acquisition: Traders body CAIT files objection with competition watchdog against near $16 bn deal

New Delhi: Traders body CAIT said on Monday that it has approached the Competition Commission of India (CCI) against the Walmart-Flipkart deal, stating that it will create unfair competition and an uneven level playing field for domestic players.

The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said the deal would deny market access to non-preferred sellers and impact small traders on offline platform.

The confederation has "filed its objection petition in CCI against the Walmart-Flipkart deal," it said in a statement.

"The merger of two companies will create an unfair competition and uneven level playing field and will indulge in predatory pricing, deep discounts and loss funding," it alleged.

It also claimed that Flipkart is a combination of exclusive tie-ups and preferential sellers, where even online vendors face discriminatory conditions.

Walmart, it said, would sell its inventory on the platform of either directly or through a web of associated preferred sellers.

 Walmarts Flipkart acquisition: Traders body CAIT files objection with competition watchdog against near  bn deal

Flipkart. Representational image. Reuters.

"This will create an unhealthy competition much to the disadvantage of both offline and online sellers," CAIT said, adding that this transaction would result in vertical integration which no other player in India would have.

"The complainant apprehends that the deal is bound to circumvent established laws and FDI (foreign direct investment) 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 them to reach out to retail market," it added.

Earlier this month, Walmart Inc had announced the acquisition of 77 percent stake in Flipkart for about  $16 billion (Rs 1.05 lakh crore) in the largest e-commerce deal which will give the US retailer access to the Indian online market that is estimated to grow to $200 billion within a decade.

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Updated Date: May 29, 2018 09:43:36 IST