Mexican antitrust regulators blocked Walmart’s plans to buy delivery app Cornershop, according to a report by Reuters.
Cornershop Co-Founder Oskar Hjertonsson said on Twitter that the officials stopped the deal earlier this month. Walmart planned to buy the app for $225 million, to try and give its eCommerce operations in Mexico a shot in the arm. It also wanted to position itself to compete with Amazon.com.
“We respect their decision, and there’s no turning back,” Hjertonsson said on Twitter, saying that his followers should “Keep calm and order even more avocados.”
The deal was blocked, the report said, because the officials couldn’t guarantee that rival retailers would be able to compete.
Cornershop also works with Costco and Chedraui in Mexico and Chile, with the slogan “groceries to your front door in one hour.” It receives a commission from the chains for providing the service.
If Walmart bought Cornershop, it would be in a position to own a company that sells rivals’ goods as well as its own, and it could be privy to inside information about those companies. Because of that, regulators didn’t allow the deal to go through. Walmart is the largest retailer in the country, with its Walmex stores. There are 2,459 Walmex stores in Mexico, making it the biggest by a large margin.
In other Walmart news, the company is planning to use self-driving cars to transport products between warehouses in the hopes of slashing costs and boosting efficiency.
Walmart spokeswoman Molly Blakeman told CNBC the retailer is working with partner Gatik, a self-driving vehicle startup, to test out a self-driving vehicle that will travel the two-mile route in Bentonville, Arkansas between two stores.
“We are working with city and state officials to obtain the approval we need to operate and plan to start the pilot program this summer with the aim being to learn about the logistics of adding AVs into our ecosystem, operation and process changes, and more opportunities to incorporate this emerging technology,” Blakeman explained.
Earlier this month, Walmart U.S. CEO Greg Foran showed off three Ford delivery vans with self-driving technology to reporters outside its supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas. According to Foran, going driverless to increase profits is a “no-brainer.”