Tata Capital’s travel firm acquired by Thomas Cook India

The completion of the acquisition of the wholly-owned subsidiaries of Tata Capital Limited, Tata Capital Forex Limited (foreign exchange) and TC Travel and Services Limited (travel services) was announced by Thomas Cook India Group. The two acquired entities have a network of 24 locations and 263 employees pan India. In a statement, Thomas Cook said that the acquired companies will henceforth be referred to as TC Forex Services Ltd. and TC Travel and Services Ltd. “Our acquisition of Tata Capital’s Forex and travel companies serves to further reiterate our focus on the travel and foreign exchange sector in the country,” Madhavan Menon, Chairman and Managing Director, Thomas Cook (India) said. He added: “The acquisition creates clear opportunities, including a significant increase in scale and network reach, volume/ buying advantages as well as technology gains, all resulting in stronger customer service and stakeholder value.”…
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5 Indian generic drug makers sued: US State

In a new lawsuit over, alleged price cartelization in the US, at least five Indian companies are among 12 generic drug manufacturers; adding to their existing agony including regulator inspections and pricing pressures in their largest market. Sun Pharmaceuticals, Dr Reddy’s Laboratories, Emcure Pharmaceuticals, Zydus Cadila Pharmaceuticals and Glenmark Pharmaceuticals, are among companies sued jointly by 45 US states over charges of colliding with each other to fix prices of nearly 15 drugs. The lawsuit initiated by the state of Connecticut also names global majors such as Teva, Sandoz and Activis among other drug companies are also named in a probe, which is an extension of a 2014 investigation, where six companies were under the scanner. The new lawsuit has also named some individual executives, including Rajiv Malik, president of Mylan, and Satish Mehta, MD of Emcure Pharma and likely to add more names, according to the office of Connecticut attorney general George Jespen ,who filed the new civil suit. “Our investigation is ongoing, and while we are unable to specify if or when we may take additional action against other companies or individuals, there is the possibility that additional individuals will be named in the future,” said Jaclyn M Severance, director of communications office of the attorney general.…
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Qube Cinema, PE-backed UFO Moviez to merge

UFO Moviez India Ltd and Qube Cinema Technologies Pvt. Ltd, in order to intensify their position in India’s digital cinema distribution and in-cinema advertising industry, have decided to merge. UFO, in a stock-exchange filing, the deal involves the merger of UFO and its entirely owned unit PJSA Technosoft Pvt. Ltd with Qube Cinema and its group companies Qube Digital Cinema Pvt. Ltd and Moviebuff Pvt. Ltd. The transaction involves Qube Cinema first demerging its business of providing technology solutions and services in the film, video and audio domains, including digital cinema advertising, into Qube Digital. This will eventually be merged with UFO after ICICI Venture and UFO buy a stake in Qube Digital from private equity investors. UFO Moviez is backed by PE firm Providence Equity Partners while Qube is supported by Nomura and Intel Capital.…
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Tata Sons settles dispute; pays NTT DoCoMo $1.2bn

Nearly $1.27 billion (144.9 billion yen) has been paid to NTT DoCoMo by Tata Sons, ending their three-year-old dispute, enabling the Japanese company to exit its 26.5 percent stake in Indian telecom operator Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL). Earlier this year, Tata Sons had kept the entire amount of payment in an escrow account while the case was being heard and was released, in accordance with a Delhi High Court order. NTT DoCoMo, Japan’s leading mobile operator; following the payment, no longer holds any equity investment in TTSL. “Concurrent with the receipt of the above amount, all shares in TTSL held by DoCoMo have been transferred to Tata Sons and companies designated by Tata Sons,” NTT DoCoMo said in a statement. In February 2017, Tata Sons said it had reached an agreement with DoCoMo “on a joint approach to enable enforcement” of a compensation award granted by the London Court of International Arbitration in 2016 supporting the Japanese company. By quoting the Foreign Exchange Management Act regulations, the Reserve Bank of India had opposed the transfer. In April, the Delhi High Court rejected the apex bank’s stand. In 2009, NTT DoCoMo had acquired a 26.5 percent stake in TTSL for $2.7 billion.…
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Novartis offers to buy Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA) in $3.9 billion

On October 30, Swiss drugmaker Novartis offered to buy France’s Advanced Accelerator Applications (AAA) in a $3.9 billion cash deal to intensify the oncology portfolio at the world’s biggest maker of prescription medicine. A 47 percent premium to AAA’s price before media reports on Sept. 27 was represented by basel-based Novartis’s offer of $41 per ordinary share and $82 per American depositary share that Novartis was interested in. It said it would finance the deal with debt as it is looking to add AAA’s radiopharmaceuticals that use trace amounts of radioactive compounds to not only produce functional images of organs and lesions but also to treat diseases like cancer. AAA’s flagship product, Lutathera, won European Union backing in late September for use against gastroenteropancreatic neuroendocrine tumours, the kind of cancer that killed Apple founder Steve Jobs. Bruno Strigini, head of Novartis Oncology, said in a statement, “With Lutathera we can build on this legacy by expanding the global reach of this novel, differentiated treatment approach.” Lutathera, which has also been submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for approval, harnesses a molecule not only to diagnose cancer but also to deliver treatment by hitting cancer cells with high-energy electrons. Buono said, “We believe that the combination of our expertise… together with the global oncology experience and infrastructure of Novartis provide the best prospects for our patients, physicians and employees, as well as the broader nuclear medicine community.”…
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$200 mn deal signed by India with World Bank

On October 30, the signing of a loan agreement worth $200 million for the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project was announced by the finance ministry and the World Bank. Mr Sameer Kumar Khare, Joint Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance said that Assam is simplifying several regulatory procedures related to doing business, agricultural marketing, and fisheries amongst others. He said that the project will help the State increase agricultural productivity by strengthening the farming systems, raise private sector investments to promote agri-enterprises which will create better job opportunities for the youth in the State. In over 16 Districts of Assam, the Project is expected to be implemented. The Project will benefit more than 5,00,000 farming households. At least 30 percent women are expected to participate in project activities. More focus will be given to women-led enterprises and their participation in the decision-making process of farmer producer organizations. It said the Project will also enable small farm holders to produce crops that are resilient to recurrent floods or droughts in the state. Mr. Hisham Abdo, Operations Manager, World Bank, speaking on the occasion said that the Government of Assam aims to double farm incomes in the State and transform the agricultural sector into a stable source of growth and economic development.…
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PepsiCo General counsel Tony West hired by UBER

Tony West who was serving as the general counsel at PepsiCo has now been hired by Uber; filling an important gap at the ride-hailing giant as it continues to battle back a series of investigations by the U.S. government and a major lawsuit from one of its chief corporate rivals. Before serving at PepsiCo, he was working as an assistant attorney general at the Department of Justice under former President Barack Obama. The DOJ is one of the very agencies probing some of Uber’s business activities. On October 27, Dara Khosrowshahi, to whom it is still the first major hire for Uber’s new chief executive; announced the appointment in an email to staff — a note that also acknowledged the litany of legal challenges facing the company around the world. “As a former federal prosecutor and senior Department of Justice official in the Obama Administration, well equipped to handle the investigations into our past practices,” Khosrowshahi said. “And at Pepsi, he has emphasized diversity on his team and across the company.” “But perhaps most importantly, Pepsi has been named one of the world’s most ethical companies 10 years in a row,” he continued. “Under Tony’s leadership, I’m confident that we will one day join this list.” Uber currently faces a number of federal inquiries — from its use of technology to avoid local U.S.…
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Snapdeal founders face criminal complaint by GoJavas promoter

A criminal case has been filed with the Economic Offences Wing against Snapdeal founders Kunal Bahl and Rohit Bansal for criminal breach of trust, cheating, intellectual-property theft, theft of trade secrets and criminal misappropriation of securities by the promoter of QuickDel Logistics Pvt. Ltd, Anand Rai. Merely two weeks after Rai shot off Rs 300-crore legal notice to Snapdeal and its founders, the step was taken. In August 2016, QuickDel Logistics, which runs third-party logistics firm GoJavas, was acquired by Rai, who is also the promoter of Pigeon Express Pvt. Ltd. When the firm was acquired, Snapdeal held a 49% stake in GoJavas. Rai’s complaint comes just about three months after Snapdeal’s parent Jasper Infotech Pvt. Ltd filed a case against the former GoJavas promoters, Praveen Sinha, Randhir Singh, Ashish Chaudhary and Abhijeet Singh, for alleged cheating, forgery, conspiracy, criminal breach of trust and misappropriation of funds. Rai had alleged that Snapdeal founders had unduly benefitted from the sale of GoJavas. Buying a 20% stake in the company for $20 million, Snapdeal first became a minority investor in GoJavas, incorporated as Quickdel Logististics Pvt. Ltd and entering into a supply-chain partnership with it. As per GoJavas, Snapdeal had approached its promoters through founding member and COO Vijay Ghadge in late 2014.…
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New consumer protection law on misleading ads: Narendra Modi announces

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a new policy to crack down on misleading advertisements. Modi claimed the new law will protect the interests of the consumers by addressing to their grievances in a time-bound and cost effective manner. Modi said the government will introduce a new GST law which will help to bring down the prices due to the increase in competition among the manufactures; thus, helping the consumers in the long run. “Today we are in the process of enacting a new Consumer Protection Act keeping in view business practices and requirements of the country. The proposed Act lays great emphasis on consumer empowerment. Stringent provisions are proposed against misleading advertisements. A Central Consumer Protection Authority with executive powers will be constituted for quick remedial action,” PM said. Highlighting his government’s people-friendly policies, Modi said that in the last three years, the government has launched numerous programs like new real estate law, new BIS Act, UJJWALA scheme, DBT (direct benefit transfer) to empower the consumers. Stressing the benefits of GST, Modi said the GST will help the consumer in the long run as they won’t feel cheated anymore. Citizens can see receipts to check the amount of tax they are paying to the government.…
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Reliance Communications shutting down 2G services in one month

Anil Dhirubhai Ambani-led Reliance Communications (RCom) is planning to shut down its wireless business after suffering massive losses of around 46,000 crore. However, the company will continue to operate its 3G and 4G services till it remains profitable. Speaking to employees, Gurdeep Singh, Executive Director of RCom said, “We stand at a situation where we need to call it a day on our wireless business and this would bring the curtains down on our wireless business 30 days from now. And as a result, we tried whatever means to sustain and put oxygen in the business but we will not be able to sustain the business beyond 30 days from now.” “We will continue to operate International Long Distance (ILD) voice, consumer voice and 4G dongle post paid services and mobile tower business till the services remain profitable and all the other business will be shut down”, Gurdeep said. RCom in the past blamed Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio’s free offers as one of the reasons for the financial stress of the telecom industry. “The telecom industry’s current financial problem to some extent can be attributed to the entry of a new telecom operator (Jio) and its strategy of offering freebies to gain customer and market share,” the company said.…
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Facebook acquired teenage polling app, tbh

Facebook has acquired ‘tbh’, an anonymous polling app for teenagers which has over 5 million downloads and 2.5 million daily active users in the US. The app lets teenagers anonymously answer kind-hearted, multiple-choice questions about friends, who then receive the poll results as compliments. “When we set out to build tbh, we wanted to create a community that made us feel happier and more confident about ourselves. We felt that people craved genuine and positive interactions in their online experiences,” ‘tbh’ said in a statement. “Over the last few weeks, over 5 million people have downloaded tbh and sent over a billion messages. More importantly, we’ve been inspired by the countless stories where tbh helped people recover from depression and form better relationships with friends,” it read. Financial terms are likely to be somewhere around less than $100 million and will not require regulatory approval. “As part of the deal, tbh’s four co-creators — Bier, Erik Hazzard, Kyle Zaragoza and Nicolas Ducdodon — will join Facebook’s Menlo Park headquarters while continuing to grow their app,” the report added. “When we met with Facebook, we realised that we shared many of the same core values about connecting people through positive interactions. Most of all, we were compelled by the ways they could help us realise tbh’s vision and bring it to more people,” ‘tbh’ said.…
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Equifax Targeted By Malware

Once again, Equifax, which is a consumer credit reporting agency (oldest of the three largest credit agencies) that collects and aggregates information on over 800 million individual consumers and more than 88 million businesses worldwide, appears to be a target of yet another attack. Equifax took down one of its customer assistance website pages as its cybersecurity team investigated another possible breach. According to security analyst Randy Abrams, the site redirected some visitors to download a fraudulent update for Adobe Flash that would infect the user’s computer with Malware. Confirming that its systems were not compromised and that the reported issue did not affect its consumer online dispute portal, Equifax said, “The issue involves a third-party vendor that Equifax uses to collect website performance data and that vendor’s code running on an Equifax website was serving malicious content. Since we learned of the issue, the vendor’s code was removed from the webpage and we have taken the webpage offline.” Earlier, Equifax had announced that a security breach released information of approximately 143 million customers, including names, birth dates, Social Security numbers, addresses, and possibly even driver’s license numbers. Equifax said that it discovered the breach on July 29 and believes that the unauthorized access occurred from mid-May through July.…
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