TBA Bulletin #25

Week gone by- February 01-08, 2021

It was the Budget week, sufficient action in the coming years on BFSI, FDI relaxed on Insurance, betting big on infrastructure through railway, ports, gas and power. Agri Infra cess, nothing on defence budget- we expect conversations to continue at the border.

GoI is also claiming some concrete inroads into migrant workers, labour and employment. The initiatives are centered around textile parks, mainly.

Under the BFSI- GoI has made announcements which are lining up disinvestment / privatisation of PSE and PSB.

OTT Guidelines are being framed for India, the controversies and FIRs filed in case of “Tandav” have set the cart in motion.

Healthcare- a Division Bench of Madras High Court has set aside the order of a Single bench order restraining Patanjali Ayurveda from using Coronil, stating that exclusives rights over the word Coronil cannot be claimed.

On the international front:

Apple Car in collaboration with Hyundai’s KIA. The Electric Driver less car of Apple is here to stay. KIA and Apple are in talks and negotiations to roll out the investment.

FinTech- PayPal closes down its India operations.

ARBITRATION- the Delhi High Court is pronouncing an order as we write.

The single-judge bench had prima facie held that the interim award by Singapore International Arbitration Centre in favour of Amazon was legal, while also saying that Future-Reliance transaction was legal. It left the final decision to the regulatory bodies.  Subsequently Biyani barred for one year on insider trading charges .

Biyani has also been barred from transacting in securities of Future Retail.

TECH- Jeff Bezos makes way for his predecessor with Andy Jassy coming and he biding adieu as CEO of the company.

BFSI

NATIONAL

Budget lays groundwork to put India’s banking crisis in rearview mirror. 

RBI is likely to maintain a status quo on benchmark interest rate in its next monetary policy.  

  • GoI will set up an asset management company and asset reconstruction company that will take up the bad loans on the books of the banking sector. 
  • Can the formation of bad bank earn PSU banks a re-rating? 
  • GoI aspires to release the management bandwidth away from the recovery of stressed assets and expedite the process given that the single entity will be driving decision-making as a lender.

Links: Link 

Link 2 Budget 2021: Govt Doc 

FINTECH

Paypal to shut down domestic payment business in India 

  • PayPal will wind down its domestic payments business in India from April 1. 
  • PayPal one of the largest US companies is planning to provide consumers access to cryptocurrencies, which could help Bitcoin and rival cryptocurrencies gain wider adoption as viable payment methods.
  • the service will encourage global use of virtual coins and prepare its network for new digital currencies that central banks and companies may develop, President and Chief Executive Dan Schulman said in an interview. 

Link: Link 

TECH

Facebook, whatsapp blocked by Myanmar Junta as opposition to coup grows 

  • Myanmar’s junta blocked Facebook in the name of ensuring stability on Thursday and activists said at least three people were arrested at a street protest against the coup that ousted elected leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 
  • Nobel Peace laureate Suu Kyi faces charges for illegally importing communications equipment after the army takeover on Monday that has drawn Western condemnation and calls on the junta to respect her party’s landslide victory in November elections

Link: Link 

ARBITRATION

NATIONAL

The court ruled in favour of Amazon and allowed it to continue opposing the merger before appropriate legal forums, indicating that the interim award, passed earlier by emergency arbitrator of Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), is valid and both the parties should continue to pursue the case before SIAC until the tribunal passes its final judgement.

  • The Delhi High court on Wednesday issued notice to Future Retail and other respondents in Amazon’s appeal against the 21 December single-judge bench order that had upheld the Kishore Biyani company’s proposed merger with Reliance Retail Ventures. The next date of hearing is 12 February.
  • The single-judge bench had prima facie held that the interim award by Singapore International Arbitration Centre in favour of Amazon was legal, while also saying that Future-Reliance transaction was legal. It left the final decision to the regulatory bodies.
  • The single judge bench had prima facie upheld FRL board’s 29 August resolution regarding the group’s sale of its business to Reliance Retail, part of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries. But it had declined the Future Group’s plea to stop Amazon from approaching regulators.
  • Biyani barred for one year on insider trading charges for an incident of 2017;
  • Biyani, a pioneer of Indian retail, has also been barred from transacting in securities of Future Retail for two years. The regulator said it reached the decision after a probe into the 2017 case pertaining to the use of unpublished price-sensitive information to trade in Future Retail shares.
  • Sebi also ordered a penalty and disgorgement of illicit gains from Biyani-family controlled entities that include Future Corporate Resources Pvt. Ltd (FCRL), FCRL Employee Welfare Trust and several individuals found to be acting in connivance with the Biyanis. In its order, the regulator said that all aforesaid persons and entities were found to be involved in insider trading in the shares of group flagship Future Retail Ltd (FRL) prior to an announcement about the consolidation of the group’s offline and online home retail business into a single entity. 
  • The regulator has sought a clawback of benefits from the illegal trade, amounting to  ₹17.78 crore along with an interest at the rate of 12% per annum from 20 April 2017, from Future Corporate Resources, Kishore Biyani and Anil Biyani.
  • Mr. Biyani has approached the SAT in challenge of the order passed by the SEBI.

Link: Link , Link 

DATA PRIVACY

INTERNATIONAL

Fake whatsapp version for Iphones apparently made by Italian Spyware vendor to target individuals 

  • A fake version of WhatsApp for iPhone appears to have been made by Italian surveillance company Cy4Gate to target specific individuals, according to a report.
  • It could have allowed hackers to gather information about targeted users by tricking them to install certain configuration files on their iPhone
  • In 2019, WhatsApp was exploited by a spyware developed by Israel’s NSO Group that enabled entities to target journalists and human right activists in global regions including India. 
  • Upon seeing the URL of the tricking site, Motherboard found multiple clusters of domains associated with the publicly shared link. Some variations of the original URL were also discovered. One of them was config1-dati[.]com that appeared to be a phishing page tricking individuals to install the fake version of WhatsApp. It looked legitimate, with WhatsApp branding and professional graphics, and provided instructions to the users on how to install a configuration file on the iPhone to get the fake version installed. 

Link: Link 

ENTERTAINMENT

NATIONAL

OTT Guidelines 

The Information and Broadcasting Ministry will soon release guidelines on Over the Top (OTT) platforms as it is receiving a lot of complaints against some serials available on the streaming platforms.

  • Films and serials released on OTT platforms and digital newspapers do not come under the purview of the Press Council Act, Cable Television Networks (Regulation) Act or Censor Board. We will come up with some guidelines on it soon,” Javadekar said while addressing the media. 
  • Three FIRs were registered in Uttar Pradesh’s Lucknow, Greater Noida and Shahjahanpur. Two FIRs were lodged in Madhya Pradesh while one FIR each was lodged in Karnataka and Bihar. 
  • Earlier, the Bombay High Court had granted a transit pre-arrest bail to director Ali Abbas Zafar, producer Himanshu Mehra, writer Gaurav Solanki, and Purohit against whom a case was registered in Lucknow. 

Link: Link 

HEALTHCARE

No Monopoly Over ‘Coronil’

  • A Division Bench of the Madras High Court has set aside a Single Bench order restraining Patanjali Ayurveda from using the trademark ‘Coronil’- the corona virus.
  • The mark ‘Coronil’ became a subject matter of discussion when a Chennai based private company Arudra Engineering moved the High Court claiming rights over it. 
  • The company contended that Patanjali was infringing its rights over their registered marks, ‘CORONIL-92 B’ and ‘CORONIL- 213 SPL’, both used as chemical Industries. 
  • The Single Judge had thereafter granted interim injunction in favour of the Plaintiff, noting that the similarity in the name is “obvious”.
  • In appeal, a Division Bench of Justices R Subbiah and C Saravanan was of the opinion that Arudra cannot claim rights over the word “Coronil” as a word.

Link: link 

AUTOMOBILE

INTERNATIONAL

Apple Car

  • Apple and KIA have both, recently denied to the proposed tie-in for manufacturing Apple Cars.
  • The South Korean auto maker’s proposal would involve a multibillion-dollar investment, according to people familiar with the matter. If successful, it would thrust Apple into the car business after several years of secretive work 
  • The proposal would involve a multibillion-dollar investment, according to people familiar with the matter, who stress that a deal hasn’t been completed. If successful, it would thrust the iPhone maker into the car business after several years of secretive work in which its engineers plotted to upend the 100-plus-year-old automotive industry.
  • Hyundai has talked to Apple about investing more than $3 billion in a deal that would see its subsidiary Kia begin building cars under the tech company’s brand as soon as 2024 

Link: Link 

The weekly roundup is only for information purposes. Nothing contained herein is, purports to be, or is intended as legal advice and you should seek legal advice before you act on any information or view expressed herein. Endeavoured to accurately reflect the subject matter of this alert, without any representation or warranty, express or implied, in any manner whatsoever in connection with the contents of this. This isn’t an attempt to solicit business in any manner.

Source Credits: Mint, Bloomberg, TechCrunch, The Wall Street Journal, NDTV Gadget 360, Nikkei Asia Review

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