The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has requested further details from Walmart and smart TV maker Vizio concerning their proposed $2.3bn acquisition deal.  

Announced in February 2024, the deal is intended to bolster Walmart’s advertising business, Walmart Connect, by enhancing its online and in-store capabilities and expanding its customer engagement. 

But the acquisition has drawn attention as US lawmakers call for increased FTC scrutiny of transactions that could potentially lead to higher prices and impact consumers.  

In March 2024, Walmart informed two US antitrust agencies of its intention to withdraw and refile a review application for the Vizio purchase, providing regulators with additional time for analysis. 

The two companies plan to respond promptly to the FTC’s request and will work co-operatively with the agency during its review, Vizio stated in a SEC (US Securities and Exchange Commission) filing.

The heightened regulatory interest comes as the FTC examines other significant mergers, including those of Kroger and Albertsons, and Tapestry and Capri.  

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In a separate development, Walmart has celebrated the grand opening of its latest high-tech consolidation centre in Minooka, Illinois.  

The 492,000ft² facility at 201 S McLinden Road will create 700 jobs when fully operational.  

The centre’s advanced automation technology will enable a threefold increase in volume capacity, facilitating more efficient product distribution to stores and improving product availability for customers.  

The facility is the third of its kind in Walmart’s supply chain, following the first which opened in Colton, California, in 2019.  

In April 2024 Walmart partnered with Swisslog to implement an advanced automation solution in its Robinson facility in Texas, US.