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Antitrust probe

focuses on Walmex

Walmart Inc.'s Mexican unit is being investigated by the government's competition authority over antitrust allegations, the company reportedly told shareholders Monday.

Walmart de Mexico, also known as Walmex, said Mexico's Federal Economic Competition Commission is looking into possible "monopolistic practices" in the company's supply and distribution chain of both wholesale and retail goods.

Bentonville-based Walmart did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Besides being Walmart's largest international operation, Walmex is one of Mexico's largest retailers. The commission mentioned the company, among others, in a Nov. 4 report stating that the country's high market concentration favors the buying power of big chains, "which could distort competition in the suppliers' markets."

Walmex was at the center of a bribery investigation that came to light in a 2012 article published by The New York Times. Walmart executives in Mexico were said to have bribed government officials to expedite permits for new stores.

In addition to paying close to $1 billion on its own investigation and to build up its global compliance initiatives, Walmart paid the Securities and Exchange Commission $283 million last year to settle all investigations.

-- Serenah McKay

State reveals share

of Home Depot deal

Arkansas will receive $149,011.03 as its share of a $17.5 million settlement The Home Depot reached with 45 states and the District of Columbia over a 2014 data breach that exposed the credit card information of 40 million customers of the home-improvement retailer, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge announced Tuesday.

The breach occurred when hackers gained access to The Home Depot's network and deployed malware on the company's self-checkout point-of-sale system, the release said. That allowed hackers to obtain the payment card information of customers who used self-checkout lanes at The Home Depot stores in the United States between April 10 and Sept. 13, 2014.

Home Depot also agreed to implement and maintain data security practices, according to the release.

-- Noel Oman

Index ends at 474.89

after 7.83 increase

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, closed Tuesday at 474.89, up 7.83.

"U.S. stocks rallied 1.5% on Tuesday with the Dow Jones Industrial Average rising above 30,000 for the first time as investors seem to approve of President-elect Biden's cabinet picks and upbeat developments on the corona virus vaccine," said Chris Harkins, managing director at Raymond James & Associates.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.


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