CAIT files petition against Walmart-FK deal: Do such claims posses any substance?


The Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) who called Walmart, a US version of ‘The East India Company’ has finally filed a petition in Competition Commission of India (CCI) against the recently concluded Walmart-Flipkart deal.

In its press statement, CAIT has alleged that Walmart will create an unfair competition and uneven level playing field and will indulge in predatory pricing, deep discounts, and loss funding.

The petition before antitrust regulators also mentioned that Flipkart is a combination of predation, exclusive tie-ups and preferential sellers where even online vendors face discriminatory conditions, reports ET.

Walmart will give preference to its own inventory over others after acquiring 70 per cent stake in the Bengaluru-based online marketplace, the plea added.

The development comes in the backdrop of Walmart’s recent approaching of fair trade regulator for the approval of its proposed acquisition of a majority stake in e-commerce major Flipkart.

The US-based retail giant had clarified that the biggest deal in the Indian e-commerce history doesn’t raise any competition concerns.

Why unwanted hue and cry over Walmart-FK deal?

While several bodies including CAIT and AIOVA along with political outfit Swadeshi Jagran Manch have been raising concerns over Walmart-FK deal, such pleas are unlikely to draw any support from the government agencies.

To get some temporary mileage, RSS-affiliated Swadeshi Jagran Manch wrote to India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and sought his intervention to stop US retail giant entering India. The lobby group even claimed that union minister for commerce Suresh Prabhu will examine the deal.

However, such claims and lobbying are unlikely to gain any importance from concerned appellate. Meanwhile, the All India Online Vendors Association (AIOVA) has also filed a petition with the CCI against Flipkart’s WS Retail.

In fact, it’s unfortunate for the e-commerce industry and ministry of India, where no any regulatory body has been formed to look after such kind of issues.

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