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Walmart-Flipkart Deal: NCLAT Adjourns Hearing

The National Company Law Appellate Tribunal adjourned its hearing on the petition filed by traders’ body CAIT against fair trade regulator CCI’s approval for Walmart’s USD 16 billion acquisition of Flipkart. The matter has been listed on December 14 for next hearing bearing on December 14 before the two-member bench.

Earlier on October 5 also, the matter was adjourned for November 12 for next hearing by the appellate tribunal.

On September 6, the NCLAT, which is also an appellate authority over the Competition Commission of India (CCI), had asked Wal-Mart International Holdings Inc. to file a reply before it explaining way of doing business in India.

CAIT, which has filed an appeal before the NCLAT challenging the CCI approval for Flipkart’s acquisition by Walmart, was also asked to file its understanding over the Walmart’s business model in India.

In its reply filed before the appellate tribunal, CAIT has alleged that Walmart has been found “guilty of predatory behavior” in countries like Germany, Mexico and South Africa and “may repeat such behavior in India” through its acquisition of online major Flipkart.

It has also submitted that the US retail major “may cause an appreciable adverse effect on competition” in the domestic market post combination as its “predatory tendencies” would be on a much larger scale.

Walmart International Holdings Inc., however, in a separate reply has said its business model and activities in India were different of Flipkart’s. Moreover, on account of FDI restrictions, Walmart India cannot engage in selling directly to consumers.

Even in business segments where there is an overlap with Flipkart, Walmart said the “combined market share of Flipkart and Walmart in the market of B2B sales are less than 5 percent and the incremental change in the market shares as a result of this transaction is less than 0.5 percent”.

On August 18 Walmart had informed that it has completed deal with Flipkart and holds 77 percent stake in the Indian e-commerce major.— India TV News

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