Walmart unit asked to explain India business model after Flipkart buy

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(Reuters) - India’s National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT), a local semi-judicial body, has asked a Walmart Inc unit to explain its business model in India, following an objection raised by a traders body against its $16 billion acquisition of e-commerce firm Flipkart.

NCLAT, an appellate body for the Competition Commission of India (CCI), issued the order to Wal-Mart International Holdings Inc, the document dated Sept. 6 showed.

“Before going into the merit of the appeal, we intend to know the manner in which Wal-Mart International Holdings Inc and Flipkart Private Ltd do their business in the relevant market in India,” NCLAT said in a notice, asking Wal-Mart to file its reply by Sept. 20.

The order relates to an appeal petition filed by the Confederation of All India Traders against CCI’s approval of the Walmart-Flipkart deal last month.

The trader body said the combination would create unfair competition and drive local convenience stores out of business.

Walmart completed the acquisition of 77 percent stake in Flipkart on August 18, in one of the biggest U.S foreign investment.

Reporting By Arnab Paul and Soundarya J in Bengaluru; Editing by Amrutha Gayathri and Sriraj Kalluvila