India’s antitrust regulator, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), has approved US-based Walmart’s acquisition of a 77% stake in India-based e-commerce firm Flipkart for almost $16bn.
The approval from the CCI paves way for the biggest FDI deal in the history of Indian retail segment.
The watchdog tweeted: “@CCI_India approves proposed acquisition of Flipkart Private Limited by Wal-Mart International Holdings, Inc.”
However, this approval has drawn the ire of bricks-and-mortar retailers, who threatened to approach the court against the decision, reported Economic Times.
Upon completion of the deal, the 11-year old Indian e-commerce firm will be valued at $20.8bn.
In its ruling, CCI stated: “Considering the facts on record and the foregoing assessment, the commission is of the opinion that the proposed combination is not likely to have an appreciable adverse effect on competition in India and therefore, the same is hereby approved in terms of Section 31(1) of the Act.”
Flipkart operates its online retail business in the country through two main firms – a business to business (B2B) unit called Flipkart India Pvt Ltd, and Flipkart Internet Pvt Ltd, which operates the Flipkart.com platform.
All big ticket mergers and acquisition deals need clearance of the CCI.
Walmart announced its plan to take over Flipkart in May.
Due to greater access to the internet, Indian consumers are opting for online shopping, with sales touching around $20bn in 2017. The one billion-plus population of India also proves to be a lucrative market for overseas players such as Walmart.