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Liberty Interactive Challenges Walmart and Amazon

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Walmart–Amazon rivalry

Given the aggressive moves they are making to grow sales and improve customer loyalty, Walmart (WMT) and Amazon (AMZN) have largely dominated retail competition discourse these days.

With the acquisition of Whole Foods (WFM), Amazon has warned Walmart and other supermarket operators like Kroger (KR) and Costco (COST) that their future in the grocery business is not guaranteed. 

Walmart, on the other hand, acquired Jet.com and is investing in quick delivery in escalating competition with Amazon for online sales dollars. Amid the highly publicized Walmart–Amazon rivalry, it is easy for investors to miss the third force that is building up against these two retail giants.

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Liberty Interactive

Liberty Interactive (QVCA) recently made a move that is set to stir online retail competition, and Walmart and Amazon could be affected. Liberty Interactive is acquiring home-shopping platform operator HSN (HSNI) and combining it with its television-shopping provider, QVC.

Combining the QVC and HSN platforms is set to give rise to the third-largest e-commerce site behind Amazon and Walmart. In addition to the heavy traffic that flows through the QVC and HSN platforms, these businesses operate recognizable brands that could give Walmart and Amazon a run for their money in a sector that is already heating up with intense competition.

$7.5 billion in online sales

Liberty Interactive already owns 38% of HSN. It is acquiring the remaining stake for more than $2.0 billion in an all-stock transaction. The combined QVC–HSN entity is expected to generate $7.5 billion in online sales. HSN generated $821.4 million in total revenues for 2Q17, as shown in the chart above.

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