Appeal to review Massmart-Walmart merger ‘unsubstantiated’

2011-10-20 11:03

An appeal for a review of the merger between US retail giant Walmart and local company Massmart was unsubstantiated, the Competition Appeal Court in Cape Town heard today.

“We submit that the review application is factually unsubstantiated and legally misconceived,” said counsel for the merged firm.

Jeremy Gauntlett and David Unterhalter added in a submission to the Competition Appeal Court: “We therefore submit that the review application ought to be dismissed with costs.”

The appeal was brought by the government.

Dozens of anti-Walmart protesters demonstrated outside the Cape High Court as the hearing got under way, their singing audible in the court’s corridors.

“Walmart is going to cost us thousands of jobs. We can’t allow them to come in,” said one of the protesters, who was wearing a Coalition Against Walmart T-shirt.

The appeal is being heard by a panel of three judges, headed by Judge Dennis Davis.

Wim Trengove is arguing on behalf of the departments of agriculture, forestry and fisheries; economic development; and trade and industry.

The appeal is expected to last for two days, but Monday has also been set aside in case the hearing extends longer than expected.
Earlier this month, the four departments filed their heads of argument.

They argued that Walmart’s acquisition of Massmart could have a “potentially devastating” effect on local jobs.

They wanted the transaction to be sent back to the Competition Tribunal for proper consideration and for more effective conditions to be imposed.

The government has argued that the merging parties will increase imports, relying on Walmart’s vast and extensive international procurement capability.

Economic Development Minister Ebrahim Patel raised concern that tens of thousands of jobs could be lost in the local factories supplying Massmart and other local retailers.

Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies said there was no evidence that Massmart would create 15 000 jobs because of the merger, as it had advertised.

Agriculture Minister Tina Joemat-Pettersson said the implications of a displacement of local suppliers by Massmart would result in lost income and most likely the loss of jobs. 

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.