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A Record deal between Reliance and Walt Disney in India


Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) has been in talks to acquire Walt Disney Co but the talks were not fruitful. Though they parted ways, the recent development says that Reliance and Disney signed a binding agreement to merge their operations in India as per the recent report. The report also said that Reliance will hold 61 percent of the share and the 39 percent share will be given to Disney. Walt Disney Co agreed to sell off their 61 percent stake to Viacom 18 for Rs 33000 crores (3.9 billion USD). Viacom 18 is owned by Mukesh Ambani, the Chairman of Reliance Industries Limited.

Walt Disney Co has not been active in acquiring the digital rights of any feature films or they did not sign any new web-based projects as they wanted to sell the stake. This deal is a major breakthrough in the entertainment industry. As per the reports, Walt Disney Co will be back into active business in India from April this year. Sony had earlier plans to ink a deal with Zee Studios but the talks were not successful. Disney Plus Hotstar lost record number of subscribers after the digital platform lost the streaming rights of IPL to Jio.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

‘Anna Village Malls’ to be a costly affair for Naras if not done right !


Andhra Pradesh government is all set to convert 29,000 existing ‘fair price shops’ into ‘Anna Village Malls’. In the first phase 6,500 ‘Anna Village Malls’ would-be setup across the state. Engaging the two corporate giants ‘Reliance Retail’ and ‘Future Group’ to handle these village malls, will be cited as an example of cronyism designed to benefit the Nara family.

In November 2016, Kishore Biyani-led ‘Future Retail Limited’ group announced that they were obtaining loss-making retail segment of ‘Heritage Foods Ltd’. In return Heritage received 1.8 crore shares which accounts to about 3.65 percent of Future Retail’s stakes. This all-equity transaction was reportedly a win-win situation.

Another such transaction in October2016 was the acquisition of the dairy business of ‘Reliance Retail’ by Heritage. The acquisition was completed in April2017 through a slump sale.

Therefore Heritage, a company promoted by the family members of Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N. Chandrababu Naidu, will now receive indirect monetary benefit, from any deals that help these two groups.

Giving the ‘Anna Village Malls’ to Future group in which ‘Heritage group’ owns stake would be sort of cronyism designed to benefit the Nara family. As the Chief Minister cannot give the project to the firm in which his family has 3.65% ownership.

If these two firms continue to work on this ambitious project, Naidu being the Chief Minister will come across as a facilitator of crony capitalism. Also, the first family will be surrounded by controversy for securing monetary benefit out of the deals in the disguise of welfare schemes.

One needs to wait and see, how Naidu answers the possible and obvious accusations on this deal.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

Rudrama Devi Hindi rights for a fancy price


Gunasekhar’s magnum opus Rudrama Devi is tentatively scheduled for release on September 17th 2015. Rudrama Devi earlier was scheduled for release in Telugu Tamil and Malayalam. Latest we hear is that Gunasekhar is taking Rudrama Devi to Hindi shores as well. Hindi dubbing rights of Rudrama Devi are picked up by Nama Abhishek of Abhishek Pictures and Reliance distribution wing as a joint venture. We hear that the price tag of these rights is pretty big and the buyers readily shelled out the amount thanks to the new found craze for Telugu cinema in the north indian diaspora thanks to the stupendous success of Baahubali. Rudrama Devi has a huge ensemble star cast of Anushka, Rana, Allu Arjun, Prakash Raj and others.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.

It’s official, AP Govt Phones Tapped on TS Request


In major embarrassment to Telangana government, three telecom operators informed the Supreme Court that they had tapped certain numbers from Andhra Pradesh in May-June 2015  as per the instruction from TS.

The tapping was done by Airtel, Idea and Reliance companies.

These companies admitted to this before the Apex Court, in a petition filed by Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI), the representative body of cellular operators.

Supreme Court, in turn, directed these companies to part with information in a sealed cover within a week and give this to trial court in Vijayawada. The direction is a victory of sorts to Andhra Pradesh, which wants to use  the charge of Telephone tapping by Telangana government to neutralize the T State’s threat to implicate chief minister Chandrababu Naidu in cash-for-vote scam.

This is expected to intensify the war of words between Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

In the meantime, union home minister Rajanath Singh reportedly dashed off a letter to the states in conflict asking them to keep the centre posted with the problems arising between them such as telephone tapping.

Rajnath Singh

Because the implementation of the AP Reorganization Act-2014 is the responsibility of union ministry of home affairs (MoHA). The MoHA took the extraordinary step of writing to warring states as the telephone tapping and seeking the information thus tapped involves the issues of national security.

The petitioner, COAI said, “During the period from May 2015 to June 2015, the law enforcement agencies of the state of Telangana directed petitioners (Airtel, Idea and Reliance) to carry out lawful interception of certain phone numbers under Section 5 of the Indian Telegraph Act. The petitioners, who were bound under law, accordingly complied with the said orders. But they do not have access to the content of the said lawful interception. However, the said lawful interception has resulted in political storm in both the states.”

A probe by Andhra Pradesh  into cash-for-vote scam in which T-TDP MLA Revanth Reddy was caught red-handed while giving money to nominated MLA Stephenson in connection with MLC elections, revealed that certain phones of Andhra Pradesh government functionaries had been tapped. State then set up special investigative team (SIT) to investigate into the telephone tapping by TS which found that certain phones had been tapped.

Then, AP took legal recourse to get the call data from the Telecom operators. The Telangana government, however, had warned that disclosure of call data would be considered a violation of Official Secrets Act, 1923 and Indian Telegraph Act, 1995, by the operators. Telangana argues that telecom service providers are not supposed to entertain requests by anybody to furnish data, which is confidential in nature, and pertaining to lawful interceptions of telephone communication undertaken by law enforcement agencies falling within the jurisdiction of Telangana to police officers and individuals of other state who have no jurisdiction over the territory of Telangana state.

Informing the Apex court how they had been pressurized, with a request form AP for data, and a warning from Telangana against the three service provides sought the advice of the Union home ministry and Department of Telecommunications (DoT).

The DoT on the other hand on June 30, 2015 the DoT said, “the matter has been referred to the Government of India for legal examination as it related to lawful interception and monitoring that has bearing on national security.“

But with a court in Vijayawada directing the three companies to part with the information in a sealed cover by July 24, they moved the Supreme Court on Thursday.

The Supreme Court upon hearing the prayer of the three service providers directed them to furnish information sought by AP  to the magistrate concerned  in a sealed cover and directed the trial court to preserve it for a month so that petitioners could move Hyderabad High Court.

Telugu360 is always open for the best and bright journalists. If you are interested in full-time or freelance, email us at Krishna@telugu360.com.



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