The Chinese MOFCOM lifts conditions imposed on an e-commerce merger (Wal-Mart / Yihaodian)

MOFCOM lifts merger control conditions on 2012 Walmart acquisition* On 8 June 2016, the Chinese Ministry of Commerce (“MOFCOM“) released its decision to lift the conditions it had imposed on Walmart’s acquisition of 33.6% of the shares in Newheight Holdings. This acquisition in 2012 gave Walmart corresponding rights over Yihaodian, one of China’s best-known e-commerce supermarkets, through a reported “variable interest entity” (“VIE“) structure. This decision is the logical outcome of two separate sets of developments. MOFCOM’s 2012 remedy decision MOFCOM’s 2012 decision seemed to rely on a complicated theory whereby, through the indirect acquisition of a majority shareholding in

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