Amazon has made a formal offer to buy 60% of Indian online retailer Flipkart.
The news comes a month after it was reported Walmart was in discussions to buy a majority stake in Flipkart, valued between $10 billion to 12 billion USD.
Reuters reports Amazon has countered this offer however spokespeople for Walmart, Amazon and Flipkart declined to comment.
According to CNBC-TV18, the Flipkart/Walmart deal had been expected to close in coming weeks. The channel said Amazon's offer was likely "on par" with Walmart's and included a $2 billion break-up fee.
Morgan Stanley analysts have estimated Flipkart could reach $119 billion in sales by 2020.
If Walmart wins the bidding, it would leverage the company’s growth in the $25 billion Indian eCommerce market against Amazon. A person familiar with the matter told Reuters a Flipkart-Amazon deal was unlikely to materialize due to the threat of domination and lack of competition for smaller retailers.
While India eCommerce is growing significantly, there are still challenges in the market – according to experts, logistics and infrastructure need further development. Retailers considering shipping to India need to be aware of not only GST (and consider providing a fully-landed cost to shoppers) but the delays for consumers which may lead to a poor experience.