Walmart-Flipkart deal: Traders' body CAIT to now launch country-wide protest against the merger

twitter-logo BusinessToday.In   New Delhi     Last Updated: June 11, 2018  | 12:44 IST
Walmart-Flipkart deal: Traders' body CAIT to now launch country-wide protest against the merger

Not ready to accept the defeat in its protest against the $16-billion Walmart-Flipkart merger, the traders' association CAIT (Confederation of All India Traders) has now decided to launch a country-wide agitation against the mega deal if the government fails to address their concerns.

While few industry players are on their toes ever since this deal came to light, many others are viewing this as the resurrection of the exploitative East India Company, albeit in a lawful garb. In what may seem like the biggest mergers of recent times, the US retail giant Walmart struck up a deal to acquire Flipkart for $16 billion for 77 per cent share in the new entity in May.

According to the CAIT, the entry of Walmart would create an uneven playing field, and ultimately lead to the exploitation of domestic traders. In a statement, the traders' body said, "The merger of two companies will create an unfair competition and uneven level playing field, and will indulge in predatory pricing, deep discounts and loss funding."

Prior to knocking the doors of the CCI, the association had written two letters to Commerce Minister Suresh Prabhu, saying Walmart is nothing but a US version of 'The East India Company'.

The CAIT has now threatened a nationwide agitation if the government gives a go-ahead to the Walmart-Flipkart deal. "For the past five years, we are knocking the doors of the government for bringing reforms in e-commerce but all has gone to deaf ears, which encouraged Walmart to buy Flipkart and enter into the retail trade indirectly," the statement said, adding the deal would amplify malpractices in e-commerce.

In 2014, the BJP had promised that it wouldn't encourage the FDI in retail. However, given its complete U-turn in the Walmart-Flipkart deal, it appears improbable that the centre would listen to the traders' demands.

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