In no particular order, here are MediaNama’s top 10 stories of the week ended 11th June 2017
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Here’s why Whatsapp won an antitrust case in India
Whatsapp has won an antitrust case in India, filed with the Competition Commission of India (CCI) by Vinod Kumar Gupta, a Chartered Accountant representing “Fight for Transparency Society”. The CCI has ruled that while Whatsapp is dominant, it is not abusing its dominant position. Read it here
Zee to shut down Zindagi and make it an app-only channel
Zee Entertainment will shut down its channel Zindagi, and is moving it to its video on demand (VoD) platform OZEE starting next month. Note that Zindagi’s lineup is already available on-demand on OZEE, so it’s unclear if any new features/services will be added on or not. In fact, Zindagi’s telecast was already being livestreamed on Zee’s other streaming service DittoTV. Read it here
HDFC Bank starts charging for outward UPI transactions
HDFC Bank, the second-largest private sector lender, will start charging customers for outgoing Unified Payments Interface (UPI) transactions. In an email to customers, the bank said that it will be charging Rs 3 plus taxes for outward transactions from Rs 1 to Rs 25,000. For outwards transactions above Rs 25,000 to Rs 1 lakh, HDFC Bank will be charging Rs 5 plus taxes. The new charges will be applicable from July 10, 2017. Read it here
Why RCOM wants moratorium on GST, lower DoT charges, and an IUC free market
Anil Ambani led Reliance Communications (RCOM) proposed a discount in license fee, taxes, spectrum usage charges (SUC) and other deferred payment owed to the government by telecom companies, to ease the financial stress on service providers. In an investor’s presentation, RCOM also asks the government to remove interconnect usage charges (IUC) payable by one telco to the other for using the other’s mobile network for terminating calls. According to RCOM, due to unlimited calling packs, termination charges lead to more IUC payouts to other telcos, and not necessarily the same amount of return. Read it here
ESOPs and FDI deals to be exempt from long-term capital gains tax
The Central Board of Direct Taxes (CBDT) provided relief for genuine transactions where shares were acquired without paying the securities transaction tax (STT). Accordingly, long-term capital gains tax will not be applicable for employee stock ownership plan (ESOPs) and foreign direct investment (FDI) deals. The long-term capital gains (LTCG) exemption will also be applicable for court-approved transactions. Read it here
Privacy risks in TRAI’s speed test, Call Quality Feedback & DND apps
India’s telecom regulator TRAI recently launched an app for collecting feedback regarding call quality straight from users and a different app for testing data download speeds directly from users, as well as a Do No Disturb (DND) app for filtering spam. However, while taking a closer look at the Android permissions requested by TRAI’s apps, there are requests made for accessing sensitive information like location, contacts, call logs and even for re-routing outgoing calls. Read it here
Government’s claims of Aadhaar savings for the LPG scheme are overstated
The Government of India has argued in the Supreme Court and in Parliament that its primary purpose in promoting Aadhaar is to improve the efficiency of social schemes, and that the use of Aadhaar has generated huge savings since 2014. Read it here
#NAMAindic: Why isn’t there enough indic language advertising online?
English has been the medium of most communications on the Indian Internet, even though the vast majority of Indians don’t speak it as their first language. Thanks to falling data rates in the aftermath of Jio, Internet penetration rates are growing rapidly. As newer audiences seek content in their own languages, what are advertisers doing to keep up? Or rather, are they doing enough in the first place? Read it here
#NAMAindic: What’s holding up travel and e-commerce companies from working Indic languages?
Indic languages can have a tough time on the Internet, and even Indian companies are facing unexpected issues when trying to replicate their user interfaces and app flows into local languages. As apps get more and more complex, and as people who don’t speak English as a first language get used to the language anyway in those apps, Indic language adoption faces new challenges. Read it here
Supreme Court orders partial stay on Aadhaar PAN linkage
The Supreme Court of India today ruled that the Indian government cannot cancel PAN cards if citizens don’t link an Aadhaar number to their PAN card. The PAN card is a necessary document for filing taxes. In what is a partial stay, the Court said that those who do not have an Aadhaar card should not be forced to get one. Read it here