Traders Threaten to Move Supreme Court Against Flipkart-Walmart Deal
In one of the largest Merger & Acquisition deals in India, US-based world’s largest retailer Walmart Inc bought a majority stake in Flipkart. With Walmart buying Flipkart for $16 billion for a valuation of over $20 billion, the deal has is one of the largest e–commerce acquisitions in the world. The Bentonville company has acquired 77% of the Bengaluru-based company.
Nearly 10 lakh traders protested at about 1,000 places across the country, in a mark of opposition to the $16-billion Walmart-Flipkart deal. The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the largest traders’ body in the country said the US retail giant’s buyout of Bengaluru-based Flipkart will create a monopoly in the retail market and drive small store-owners out of business.
The secretary general of CAIT, Praveen Khandelwal said, “expected a million people in all to join Monday’s sit-in protests across hundreds of Indian cities” and further added, “This is the first phase of our protest. And if the government doesn’t listen, we will decide our future course of action at our national convention in Delhi later this month.”
Key Demands of The Traders
- Formulation of an e-commerce policy.
- Setting up of a regulatory authority for e-commerce sector.
- Scrappage of Walmart-Flipkart deal.
- Close scrutiny of Walmart-Flipkart deal by CCI.
CAIT had repeatedly claimed that at a time when there is no policy for e-commerce, this deal would be a cakewalk for Walmart to circumvent the FDI policy Press Note No.3 of 2016. The trader’s body has already filed our objections in Competition Commission of India and if a need arises it shall challenge the deal in the court of law.
Walmart said in a statement – “Walmart is operating and contributing to Indian economy for many years now. Through our B2B business (Wholesale cash-and-carry) in India we are not only supporting lakhs of small kiranas succeed, but also helping them modernize. Our continued efforts have been to support domestic manufacturing in India by sourcing locally from SME suppliers, small farmers & Women Owned Businesses. A clear testament of that is showcased in our merchandise 95% of which come from within the country.”