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Amarcast Special Podcast: Will Jio, Facebook and Google drive a monopoly in India? Monopoly Alert!

Amarcast Special Podcast: Will Jio, Facebook and Google drive a monopoly in India? Monopoly Alert!
1. Google will become the 13th investor to bet big on Reliance Industries’ telecom and digital unit Jio Platforms by picking up 7.73% stake for Rs 33,737 crore.
The investment will be from Google’s recently announced $10 billion India digitisation fund and interestingly makes the internet giant become the second largest minority investor in Jio Platform after arch-rival Facebook.

“Jio Platforms Limited, a subsidiary of the Company, today signed binding agreements with Google International LLC pursuant to which Google would invest Rs 33,737 crore for a 7.73% equity stake in Jio Platforms,” RIL said in a statement.


Graphic: ET TECH
2. With Facebook being the biggest of the stake percentage holder at 9.99%, Google and Facebook are one of the largest stakeholders in Jio. Jio is the undisputed leader in Indian telecom and internet space. With Google and Facebook as key investors, it may be the case that Google and Facebook products get a preferred stature in the Jio ecosystem, and vice versa. With Jio primary internet service provider, the speeds for Google and Facebook products may be better than other products in the market. Faceboook products include Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp, Messenger and FAN, where they are dominating products in India. Google products include Google search, chrome browser, Gmail, Youtube, Google Maps, Android OS, Chromecast, Google Duo and Google Meet, which are again dominating in India. Together with the ISP as the key partner, this domination can make it very difficult for any other player to come in this area.
3. It was on a Reliance Jio complaint that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) asked Bharti Airtel NSE -4.37 % and Vodafone Idea to block their premium Platinum and RedX plans.
In a letter dated July 8, Jio asked Trai Chairman R S Sharma to check if Vodafone Idea’s RedX and Bharti Airtel’s Platinum premium tariff plans are in compliance with India’s extant regulatory framework or if they violate consumer interest.

Jio has also sought the regulator’s views on whether on whether VIL’s RedX and Airtel’s Platinum tariff offers are merely misleading claims being made by the two incumbents purely for the sake of marketing purpose. “Before offering any such plans ourselves in the market, we would like to seek the Authority’s views on whether the (these) tariff offerings of VIL and Airtel are in compliance with the extant regulatory framework,” Jio said in its letter to Sharma, a copy of which was seen by ET.
3. What is Net Neutrality: WIRED DEFINITION: NET NEUTRALITY IS the idea that internet service providers like Comcast and Verizon should treat all content flowing through their cables and cell towers equally. That means they shouldn’t be able to slide some data into “fast lanes” while blocking or otherwise discriminating against other material. In other words, these companies shouldn’t be able to block you from accessing a service like Skype, or slow down Netflix or Hulu, in order to encourage you to keep your cable package or buy a different video-streaming service.



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