Business Roundup #Week12

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Rates Surge For Political Advertising

Rates for political advertising have shot up, doubling in some instances, from those paid by other advertisers as India gets ready to vote in a seven-phase general election that starts on April 11, says a report.

Leading media buying companies and broadcasters said the 2019 election campaign will set a new record for political ad spending.

Some peg it at 4,000 crore rupees, up 40% from the 2014 election. The last day of voting is May 19 with counting scheduled for May 23.

Airtel Mulls Merger With Dish TV

Bharti Airtel and Dish TV are in ‘exploratory’ talks to merge their DTH businesses, according to a report.

The report, quoting sources, said the idea is to consolidate operations and said that they will be together ‘Airtel Digital TV and Dish TV will be a giant’.

If the deal succeeds, the entity will be the world’s largest TV distribution company with over 38 million subscribers and 61% DTH market share in India.

Lemon Tree To Buy Key Hotels

India’s third-largest mid-market hotel operator, Lemon Tree Hotels Ltd, announced in an exchange filing that it has signed a non-binding agreement with Berggruen Hotels Pvt. Ltd.

The deal will be to acquire 100% stake in Keys Hotels. The stake will either be acquired by Lemon Tree directly or through its subsidiaries, subject to due diligence and obtaining requisite approvals, the company said in the filing.

No financial details were released as Lemon Tree has signed a non-disclosure agreement, the filing said.

Apple To Stop Selling Old Models

Apple will stop selling the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus in India and move out of small stores and outlets where sales don’t exceed 35 units per month, senior industry executives said, according to a report.

The strategy is to reinforce Apple’s premium positioning in the Indian market and increase the entry price of iPhones by more than 5,000 rupees with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus.

The iPhone maker had offered the iPhone 6 (32 GB) — introduced in 2014 — at about 24,900 rupees. The equivalent iPhone 6s version costs 29,900 rupees.

Myntra Shuts Two Stores

Walmart-owned Myntra has shut down a prominent Mango store in Mumbai and the flagship store of private brand Roadster in Bengaluru, says a report.

These two stores had marked the company’s high-profile entry into brick-and-mortar retailing, amid plans to focus on core online sales, according to sources.

The closure of the loss-making stores is part of Myntra’s change in strategy after Walmart acquired parent Flipkart Group for $16 billion in May, the sources said. However, Myntra said it is going ahead with its brick-and-mortar initiatives.

Oyo To Invest $200 Million In India

Hospitality chain Oyo Hotels & Homes will invest 1,400 crore rupees ($200 million) in India, says a report.

It also launched the Collection O brand targeted at millennial travellers.

The funds will be directed to “further double down on expansion plans, improve customer experience and ensure increase in continued asset owner success,” the company said.

Tata SUV Sees Huge Bookings

Tata Motors has seen over 10,000 bookings for its premium SUV Harrier since opening in mid-October, reflecting its popularity, says a report.

Launched in January, the company’s entry into the premium SUV segment is developed on Land Rover’s D8 Discovery architecture.

This SUV is positioned right in the heart of mid-size SUV market against rivals Hyundai’s Creta and Jeep Compass.

350 Jobs At Stake After Acquisition

The Walt Disney Company’s $71.3-billion acquisition of Rupert Murdoch-owned 21st Century Fox, which includes Star India, will axe 300-350 jobs in India, according to a report.

The merger, which is awaiting some clearances in Mexico, is on track in India and the two sides have begun sharing data and knowledge, a source said, adding that the management structure is also being worked upon.

Another source said the merged entity, Star and Disney India, will be headed by Sanjay Gupta, who is now the Star India managing director.

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Babu Kalyanpur

Babu Kalyanpur, ( Consulting Editor) has rich experience in both sports and business journalism. Babu has led news desks in Pune and Bahrain and writes extensively on his passion, sports and business besides current affairs and matters of importance to Pune.

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