For those of you still calling Walmart (WMT) - Get Report a pure-play retailer, you may want to check again. The company is day-by-day, deal-by-deal, turning itself into a powerhouse in e-commerce and a global dynamo. Walmart-owned Flipkart, India's e-commerce market-leader that Walmart acquired for more than $16 billion just a few months ago, has inked a deal to acquire Israeli startup Upstream Commerce. The price was not disclosed. However, the deal provides an exit for Israel-based investor YL Ventures, which has backed the pricing technology provider with seed money and at least two institutional rounds. It is seen as an important buy for Flipkart in its competition with Amazon (AMZN) - Get Report in India, as well as potentially for the wider Walmart group, writes The Deal's Jonathan Braude in London. Upstream Commerce's cloud-based technology serves a wide range of customers from pet-care products groups Nestle Purina Petcare Co. and Petco Animal Supplies Inc. to home improvement retailer Lowe's Co. (LOW) - Get Report and French power tools retailer Debonix, German percussion instruments seller Meinl Musikinstrumente and Singaporean online grocer RedMart.
We talked about how the U.S. regulators are changing their stance on big technology and today, it was Europe's turn. European antitrust boss and Silicon Valley bête noire Margrethe Vestager held forth on the challenges of regulating Amazon, Google (GOOGL) - Get Report, Apple (AAPL) - Get Report and an increasingly powerful tech sector at a New York conference Wednesday. "It is important for us to understand what is the new big," Vestager, the Commissioner for Competition for the European Commission, explained at Bloomberg LP's global business forum. Regulators have to weigh network effects, the ability to harness big data, low marginal costs and other factors that can tip the competitive scale, she observed. "I think our principles are fine because they are about human nature," she said. Most recently, Vestager opened a preliminary investigation into Amazon's e-commerce marketplace.
Markets Today: Stocks fell in late trading to end the day lower Wednesday after the Federal Reserve boosted interest rates by 25 basis points, marking the central bank's third tightening of 2018. The Dow Jones Industrial Average and other key indices gave up earlier gains ahead of the widely expected rate hike. The Dow Industrials ended off 0.4% at 26,385. The S&P 500 lost 0.3% to 2,906 and the Nasdaq dropped 0.2% to 7,990.
At the time of publication, Action Alerts PLUS, which Cramer co-manages as a charitable trust, was long GOOGL, AAPL and AMZN.
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