Wal-Mart to move forward with Massmart purchase in South Africa

Johannesburg, South Africa -- A South African regulatory body gave Wal-Mart permission on Friday to move ahead with its $2.2 billion purchase of South African chain Massmart.

The Competition Appeal Court upheld a ruling last year by the Competition Tribunal, but did require a study to determine a path to protect small producers who might not be able to compete with foreign producers from whom Wal-Mart can import cheaper goods.

Wal-Mart and Massmart had already agreed to spend $13 million over three years to help farmers and other South African suppliers prepare to do business with Wal-Mart.

The appeal court also called for the reinstatement of 503 workers who lost their jobs in what unions said was a step by Massmart to make itself more attractive to Wal-Mart.