Wal-Mart says it will abandon efforts to buy a South African chain if the government demands it stock a specific amount of South African products.
Wal-Mart raised the possibility of pulling out Monday, the last day of hearings on the proposed 17 billion rand (about $2.4 billion) deal before the government agency charged with ensuring competition and protecting consumer interests. The Competition Tribunal is expected to rule in the next week on whether Wal-Mart can go ahead with the purchase of Massmart.
Unions argue the deal should be rejected unless Wal-Mart is required to take steps to protect jobs. Wal-Mart says requiring it to buy an undetermined percentage of South African goods _ to protect local manufacturing jobs _ would give competitors an unfair advantage.