A faction of small Indian traders and shopkeepers, in response to Walmart Inc’s proposed $16 billion acquisition of Bengaluru-based Flipkart, have asked tens of thousands of its members to hold protests across the country on Monday.
According to the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), the acquisition of e-commerce firm Flipkart by Walmart, will lead to a monopoly in the retail market and put small store-owners out of business.
Walmart, which currently owns and operates 21 stores in 9 states across India, said on Monday it had been supporting local manufacturing in India by sourcing from small and medium suppliers, farmers and businesses run by women.
“Our partnership with Flipkart will provide thousands of local suppliers and manufacturers access to consumers through the marketplace model,” Senior Vice President, Walmart India, Rajneesh Kumar said in a statement.
Secretary general of CAIT, Praveen Khandelwal said in all, he expects a million people to participate in Monday’s protests across hundreds of Indian cities.
“This is the first phase of our protest. And if the government doesn’t listen, we will decide our future course of action at our national convention in Delhi later this month,” Khandelwal said.
The U.S. retail giant disclosed in May that it was acquiring roughly 77 percent of homegrown Flipkart, a deal now awaiting approval by India’s anti-trust regulator.
Multiple sources and lawyers close to the deal have previously told Reuters that the CAIT did not pose a challenge to the acquisition although the Competition Commission of India would consider all arguments.