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Top 10 stories of the week: February 6th to February 12th 2017

In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 12th February 2017

MediaNama would like to thank its sponsors: Indian Express, Bruce Clay, Google and E2E for their support.

UIDAI shuts down 24 services for illegal Aadhaar data collection

The Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) has taken action against 12 websites and 12 mobile apps (from the Play Store), which provided Aadhaar related services illegally, and has had them shut down. The agency has further directed to close down 26 more websites and apps, although it did not name any of the culprits. However, we feel UIDAI should have also named and listed the culprits on a separate page, which users could share to avoid getting scammed and raise public awareness about such scams. Read it here

Airtel files counter complaint with CCI questioning Jio’s free services: report

New entrant Reliance Jio is abusing “dominant position” by involving in predatory pricing practices through its free promotional services, Airtel has said in a counter complaint with the competition commission of India (CCI), according to this ET report. It added that Jio is a dominant player in the telecom industry since “it’s a subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), which is the largest enterprise in India in terms of size, revenues, assets, and value.” Read it here

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‘Idea merger deal will help build stronger asset base, not an exit strategy’: Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao

Responding to whether the Idea merger talks is an exit strategy, Vodafone Group’s CEO Vittorio Colao said during an analyst call that deal aims to build a stronger asset base and that its “not and exit” move. “This (Vodafone-Idea merger) is creating the number one telco in the country, with a…huge spectrum capacity… and the possibility of being the best management team through the combination of the two management team,” he added. Read it here

We need payments neutrality law, says IAMAI and PCI

The Internet and Mobile Association of India(IAMAI) and the Payments Council of India (PCI) are calling for a law which will ensure payments neutrality. The law will ensure equal access to payments infrastructure for equal services and ensure that there is interoperability of between different instruments offered by fintech companies. Read it here

Zomato burn rate at around $1M a month; UberEATS?

Info Edge Executive Vice Chairman Sanjeev Bikhchandani disclosed on the earnings call that Zomato has a burn rate of around $1 million a month, and sufficient money in the bank. This gives it a runway of 2-2.5 years it seems. Read it here

CarTrade raises $55 million from Temasek and others

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Mumbai-based auto classifieds portal CarTrade has raised a $55 million in a new round of funding led by Singapore-based investment firm Temasek Holdings. The company, however, did not disclose names of other investors who took part in the new round. It plans to use the fresh funding for acquisitions, expansion into new segments like auto finance and to enhance overall service provided to consumers, dealers, and OEMs. Read it here

TRAI Chairman: A telecom-like interconnection charge for payments?

At the IAMAI India Digital Summit yesterday, the TRAI Chairman RS Sharma mooted the idea of the payments industry adopting something similar to an interconnection charge in payments. “My belief is that MDR is coming from the card world”, he said. “Digital Transactions will not become sustainable unless you address the three C’s of cost, convenience, and confidence. When I transfer cash, it doesn’t have any cost. But If I do a digital transaction, I pay someone. If I’m paying with a card, then the work at the backend is zero. We have a work done principle for how much the telecom operator A pays to operator B, as termination charges. This is computed in terms of work done.” Read it here

Snapdeal shutters Shopo, its C2C handicrafts marketplace

E-commerce marketplace Snapdeal has shut down its C2C handicrafts marketplace Shopo, the company mentioned in a blog post. Snapdeal had acquired Shopo for an undisclosed amount back in 2013. Interestingly, in September, CEO Kunal Bahl said that the company would be investing $100 million in Shopo. Read it here

MapmyIndia’s eLoc to assign alphanumeric addresses to all locations in India

MapmyIndia has launched a national digital address system called eLoc, assigning a unique 6 character code for any address across India. Users can get the eLoc for any location simply by visiting MapmyIndia’s maps and double clicking on the location of choice. Read it here

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Info Edge Earnings Call: Naukri’s sales rejig, demonetization impact & more

Info Edge is rejigging the sales process for its recruitment business Naukri.com, the company said on its earnings conference call. The process was put into place in the middle of Q1, and sales reps are being told to “hold on the negotiation piece” and continue “with the negotiation but we are not really doing that at the cost of the existing relationship that we have.” This is mostly happening in key accounts and large accounts, and mostly for annual deals. Essentially, sales reps aren’t being pushed to close, but are being pushed to upgrade clients or to get more money from regular, large clients. “…there are cases where sometimes negotiations go on for three months because with many of these customers we have very old relationships. So we let them use the site, but we keep negotiating.” Read it here

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