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Walmart Withdraws and Refiles Antitrust Review Application for Vizio Acquisition

 |  March 28, 2024

Retail giant Walmart has notified two key U.S. antitrust agencies of its decision to withdraw and subsequently refile a review application pertaining to its planned acquisition of Vizio.

According to reports from Reuters, Walmart’s action follows informal discussions with both the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Department of Justice (DOJ). Vizio, the smart-TV maker at the center of the acquisition, disclosed on Wednesday that Walmart’s Hart-Scott-Rodino notification and report form was officially withdrawn effective as of March 27. The retail behemoth expects to refile the application on March 29.

The Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act of 1976 mandates that parties involved in significant transactions must report them to both antitrust agencies for review. This legislation also establishes a 30-day waiting period for parties to close transactions, allowing the agencies ample time to evaluate and potentially block proposed mergers before they are finalized.

Read more: Walmart Facing Antitrust Panel in Mexico Over Monopoly Claims

As the waiting period for the Walmart-Vizio deal is set to expire on Friday, unless extended by a request for additional information, Walmart’s decision to withdraw and refile the application effectively resets the clock. Upon resubmitting the filing, the waiting period is expected to conclude on April 29, as reported by Reuters.

Walmart’s interest in acquiring Vizio for $11.50 per share in cash, amounting to a $2.3 billion deal announced in February, underscores the retailer’s continued focus on expanding its presence in the rapidly evolving landscape of smart technology and digital advertising. The acquisition is seen as another strategic move by Walmart to bolster its burgeoning U.S. advertising business, known as Walmart Connect.

With the regulatory process now undergoing further review, both Walmart and Vizio will await the outcome of the extended waiting period, as they navigate the complexities of antitrust scrutiny in pursuit of finalizing their proposed merger.

Source: Reuters