05/01/2011 A generic pic of an online shopping website Kalahari.net JHB. (444) Photo: Leon Nicholas

Johannesburg - South Africa's competition body on Tuesday gave online retailer Takealot a conditional nod to acquire Kalahari.com, one of Naspers' e-commerce firms, which would help form a formidable e-tailer to take on brick-and-mortar stores.

The deal proposes that Takealot's US-based parent, Tiger Global, gives up some shareholding to Naspers after combining operations of the their two respective e-commerce companies.

Last year, Takealot raised $100 million for expansion in both South Africa - where it estimated online transactions make up only about 1 percent of the R500 billion retail market - and elsewhere on the continent.

The Competition Commission asked that no more than 200 employees are laid off as a result of the merger.

In a separate deal, the competition authority blocked Life Healthcare's proposed acquisition of the independent Lowveld Hospital, saying the deal could result in patients paying higher prices.

The body also declined to give Hosken Consolidated the go-ahead to acquire Atterbell Investment, which operates the Gallagher Convention Centre, saying the deal would prevent competition in that industry.

Life's shares were up 0.8 percent and those of Hosken had lost 0.3 percent at 1254 GMT.

Reuters