Chinese e-commerce major Alibaba has sought approval of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) for acquiring stake in online grocery platform, BigBasket.
"The proposed combination relates to the acquisition and purchase of shares of Supermarket Grocery Supplies (SGS - the entity that runs BigBasket) by Alibaba Singapore," as per a CCI notice.
The notice, however, did not spell out the details of the proposed investment, including the quantum of stake and the financial value of the deal.
Emails sent to Alibaba and BigBasket on seeking CCI approval went unanswered, while Paytm declined to comment.
Earlier this year, there were reports citing sources that Alibaba along with Paytm Mall (which has Alibaba has an investor) were in discussions with BigBasket to pick up a minority stake for about USD 200 million.
Investing in BigBasket would help Alibaba add more muscle to take on USbased rival Amazon, while for Paytm, the move would further strengthen its play in the Indian ecommerce space.
BigBasket has operations in Bengaluru, Hyderabad, Pune, Mumbai, Chennai, Delhi-NCR, Ahmedabad, Patna, Kolkata, Jaipur, Vijayawada, Indore, Punjab and Lucknow.
The company has raised over USD 200 million from investors including Abraaj Group, Bessemer Venture Partners, Growthstory, Helion Venture Partners, IFC and Sands Capital.
With people becoming comfortable buying even milk and bread online, online grocery segment is projected to witness a strong growth over the next few years in India.
According to a report by Franchise India, the online grocery market is expected to be Rs 2.7 billion market by 201819.