1. India is a must-win market for Jeff Bezos after China. He will never give it up.
2. Antitrust risks could have been mitigated. Furthermore, Walmart’s integrity in India has already been tainted with well-documented bribery.
3. Flipkart investors would have gotten a juicy chunk of Amazon stock as part of the deal and consequently long-term upside in perhaps earth’s most valuable company.
4. Amazon’s hardware stack consisting of devices such as Kindle, Echo, drones, etc. is a giant killer and completely missing from Walmart’s arsenal. This coupled with Prime will be a hard act to beat in India.
5. The Flipkart and Amazon combination was the only one that could have posed a formidable challenge to Alibaba, Paytm and the other Chinese giants.
6. Walmart’s offline presence in India is limited to only 21 Best Price Modern Wholesale stores and thus isn’t developed enough to not be replicated by Amazon through acquisition or investment. Amazon already owns 5% of Shoppers Stop and it may double down on this in the future.
7. Masa and SoftBank preferred Amazon. The other stakeholders should have listened to Masayoshi Son!
8. Amazon’s M&A strategy has evolved to allow acquired brands to remain independent in both their operations and culture. Great recent examples of these include Souq in the MENA region and Whole Foods Market in the US.
9. Amazon vs. Walmart+Flipkart in India will now lead to tons of capital wastage and my bet is that it will play out exactly like it has in the US with added competition from the Chinese giants. They do not want to lose out on the digital growth wave of the next decade which is precisely why so much of India’s startup capital has been shored up by the Chinese big four - Tencent, Alibaba, Baidu, and JD.
10. Amazon could have preserved the startup mindset at Flipkart way better than Walmart.