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Roundup: Handset, DTH Taxes; Pyramid Saimira; Industry Moves; Oxigen; Bindass; FM Licenses;

Pyramid Saimira To Sell US And Malaysia Biz

Pyramid Saimira would now focuss on its business in India and has put up its business in the US and Malaysia for sale. It would also help in strengthening the financial condition of the parent company, said PSTL Managing Director P S Saminathan. In US the company has 21 screens, two radio stations, a banquet hall and a magazine, DesiPages, while in Malaysia the company mainly dealt with screening and distribution of Indian, Chinese, Malay and Hollywood films. (MSN)

Read our story on their financial results here.

Maharashtra Increases Taxes On Mobile Handsets

The Maharashtra government has increased the Value Added Tax on Mobile Handsets from 4% to 12.5%, following which handsets are expected to become more expensive all over Maharashtra. The increase in VAT is estimated to generate additional revenue of about Rs 3,000 crore per year. (Times Of India)

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Ed: We think this is a backward step: lowering of taxes on handsets is what killed the once-flourishing grey market in India, and an increase in tax is only going to encourage proliferation.

Fingerprinting At Cybercafes?

This borders on the ridiculous: Times of India reports that police in Mumbai is trying to make fingerprinting of customers compulsory at cybercafes. Frankly, if they do that, then fingerprinting should also be made compulsory at all PCO booths as well, since terrorists can also communicate via the telephone. Cybercafes appear to have become a scapegoat for anti-terror posturing of the police.

Airtel Launches Job Updates In Bangalore, Powered By BabaJobs.com

Keeping in mind the ample demand of jobs like that of a driver, cook, guard, etc, Airtel has launched ‘Job On Mobile Service’, which would enable the users to search or offer such jobs, helping the non-skilled lower middle class people. Customers need to dial *321*666# and they could select their job options, chose their salary range, job locations, etc. (Economic Times)

Gujarat Govt Levies Entertainment Tax On DTH Connections

The Gujarat government has announced an entertainment tax of Rs 200 a year on every DTH connection in the state, which is expectected to net the government an estimated 6 crore of additional revenue, since it has around 300,000 DTH connections. Gujarat already gets Rs. 8 crores as entertainment tax from Cable TV households. (The Hindu)

Durga Raghunath Joins WSJ; Sidin Vadukut Appointed Managing Editor, Livemint

Durga Raghunath has been appointed Editor, Mobile Services and Digital Product Development by The Wall Street Journal, India, reports ContentSutra. Her place, as Managing Editor for Livemint and Mint, has been taken by Sidin Vadukut (on Twitter). Vadukut was a staff writer at Mints supplement Lounge prior to this, and will report to Mint managing editor R. Sukumar, reports ContentSutra.

Pan India Network Surrenders FM Licenses

Five of the remaining eight licenses for phase II of FM radio in India, which were bought by Pan India Network Infravest Pvt Ltd in 2006, are being surrendered by the company. Almost 80 percent of the work on the studio was complete but had to be stopped. Details of the issues at Radioandmusic.com

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Oxigen To Enable Recharge For BIG TV

A portfolio of Oxigen’s easy recharge options would now be available to customers of Reliance BIG TV, after the two companies went into a tie up. The portfolio would include Online Payment using Credit/Debit Cards or Internet Banking, Interactive Voice Response (IVR), Mobile Mode Payment (SMS), etc. (EquityBulls)

Bindass Claims Growth On Relaunch Of Website

Bindass.com was relaunched, and the company claims that the time spent by users on the website shot up to 28.5 minutes, pageviews grew by “780%”. They’re basing this assessment on stats from Alexa.com, in comparison with MTVIndia.com. To view the comparison chart that UTV sent across, click here. Note that MediaNama does not endorse Alexa, since it tends to be skewed in favour of users who use the Alexa toolbar.

Ajit Thakur Expected To Join MSM

Ajit Thakur, CEO of Balaji Telefilms’ movie business is expected to join Multi Screen Media (previously known as Sony Entertainment Television) as business head of Sony Entertainment Television from 1st July, reports Indiantelevision.com.

Jivox Expands Features

QuickStart Ad Creator and a publisher portal are few of the new features that have been added on Jivox’s website, enabling it to be more user-friendly, following months of user feedback. The QuickStart Ad Creator enables users to make professional video ads just by completing a series of prompts for text and logos. (PR)

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RCom Plans Campaign For EVDO Service

RCOM is planning to launch a campaign developed by TribalDDB, India, led by a TV commercial, for Broadband Plus, it’s wireless broadband service that promises 3.1 mbps speed. The commercial has been shot by director Llyod Baptista of Nomad Films projects, and is expected to go on air today.(PR)

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