A deal between India’s two biggest e-commerce businesses has collapsed.
Market leader Flipkart offered $850m (£648m) for rival Snapdeal earlier this month, and the sale had been widely tipped to go through.
But Snapdeal said it had now decided to pursue “an independent path” and was ending talks.
With Amazon aggressively getting into the Indian market, it was widely thought only one of the two big local players would survive.
While discussions had been going on for months, it is thought Snapdeal’s co-founders, Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal, had been opposed to the idea of selling out to their arch-rival.
Softbank, one of Snapdeal’s main investors, said it respected the decision, saying that “supporting entrepreneurs and their vision and aspirations” was at the heart of its investment philosophy.
Amazon ‘to dominate’
India is the among the world’s fastest growing e-commerce markets, driven by the rise of affordable smartphones as well as the sheer volume of people getting internet access.
According to a report by Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, the number of internet users in India has climbed by 40% over the past year to about 355 million.
The same report suggested Amazon India would become the dominant firm in the market because of its investment in the country.