UK Votes 413-202 to Delay Brexit, Brookfield to Acquire RIL's East-West Pipeline, Benelli to Revive its Brand in India. Apple Addresses Spotify's Antitrust Claims et al.

UK votes 413-202 to delay Brexit. Brookfield to acquire RIL’s East-West pipeline. Benelli to revive its brand in India. Apple addresses Spotify’s antitrust claims.

 

Moving on to the top Business stories of the week. 

 

BREXIT


UK votes 413-202 to delay Brexit.
 

Wait: UK lawmakers have voted 413-202 in favour of delaying the Brexit process, acknowledging that more time is needed to break the deadlock over Britain’s departure from the European Union (EU).

All For: This allows Prime Minister Theresa May to approach the EU for an extension to Article 50, the legal process under which Britain is leaving the EU.
 

May had been forced to offer MPs a vote on delaying Brexit after they rejected her withdrawal agreement by a large margin, for a second time, and then voted to reject a no-deal Brexit.
 

Ask Again: A request for an extension of Article 50 will require the unanimous agreement of all 27 EU Member States.
 

Opinion: With Brexit now on hold, there’s only one option left - compromise.

 

TECH


Facebook reveals reason for outage. Top executives exit the company. Apple addresses Spotify’s antitrust claims.
 

Not Us: Facebook has identified server configuration changes as the reason behind the recent outage of its services including those of Instagram and WhatsApp.
 

The outages lasted about 14 hours - Facebook’s longest downtime ever.
 

No Worries: Facebook also confirmed that the problem was not the result of a DDoS attack, which refers to a Distributed Denial-of-Service attack in which a hacker overwhelms a site by flooding it with fake traffic.
 

Goodbye: Chris Cox and Chris Daniels, who served as Facebook’s Chief Product Officer and the Head of WhatsApp, respectively have exited the company.
 

Disagreement: The departures come shortly after CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced plans to reshape the company around private messaging apps following multiple privacy scandals.
 

Replacements: In the wake of the departures, Will Cathcart, who previously was the Head of the Facebook app, was named the new Head of WhatsApp. Fidji Simo, Vice President of video, games, and monetization at Facebook, will take over as the Head of the Facebook App, shared Zuckerberg in a post to employees
 

Fake News: Apple has responded against Spotify’s antitrust allegations arguing that the music streaming service wants all the benefits of a free app without being free.
 

Earlier: Spotify filed an antitrust complaint against Apple in Europe earlier this week, with CEO Daniel Ek arguing that App Store policies give Apple an “unfair advantage".
 

Read Apples’ full response here.

 

FUNDING


Accel raises $2.5bn to fund tech startups. Innoviti raises INR80cr in debt funding. 

Sum Total: VC firm Accel has raised $2.5bn to fund technology startups.

The capital is divvied up between three Accel funds including- Accel XIV fund which totals $ 525m, a growth fund of $1.5bn and a leaders Fund of $500m.

Rising on Debt: Enterprise payments solutions provider Innoviti has raised INR80cr in debt from venture debt fund Trifecta Capital and several NBFCs.

Trifecta has put in around INR30cr while the rest INR50cr has come from NBFCs

The company provides technology-led payment solutions for businesses, and partners with banks, digital wallets, and merchants such as retailers.

Innoviti has previously raised $18m equity in a July 2017 Series B round led by Bessemer Venture Partners, Singapore-based private equity fund SBI-FMO and Catamaran Ventures.

Good Use: Innoviti plans to use the funds for its payments infrastructure and terminals, in addition to technology expansion and hiring people.

 

COMPANIES


Brookfield to acquire RIL’s East-West pipeline. Benelli to revive its brands in India.

Costly Deal: Canada-based Brookfield Asset Management’s India Infrastructure Trust, an InvIT is set to acquire RIL’s East-West Pipeline (EWPL) in an INR13,000cr deal. Brookfield has filed a preliminary placement memorandum, through which its InvIT will invest INR13,000cr to acquire EWPL.

As part of the transaction, the InvIT will acquire 100% equity in Pipeline Infrastructure Private Ltd (PIPL), which currently owns and operates the pipeline.

RIL will get the right to acquire equity shares of PIPL, held by the InvIT at an equity value of INR50cr, at the end of 20 years.

In Preparation: Italian bike maker Benelli is gearing up to revive its brand in India.The company has planned to launch 250-800cc bikes and made-in India scooters, other than setting up a $1bn manufacturing facility.

Previously, availability of products and spare parts in the market were a challenge for the Italian bike maker, for which they have now roped in Adishwar Auto Ride India as a partner to rebuild its brand.

Lined Up: Currently, the company has five offerings in the 300cc, 500cc and 600cc segments and is planning to strengthen it with five new products this year, including Leoncino 500, Imperiale 400 and 502 C motorcycles, among others.

 

GOODREADS


Chinese apps drawing Indian minds. Steel giants lock horns.


Bhai–Bhai: Some of China’s quirkiest social-media firms are signing up hundreds of millions of consumers in India, tech’s biggest untapped market, in a bid to capture users who aren’t already locked into Facebook, Twitter or other American apps.

Read the rather fascinating report on who these players are and how they are tapping into the Indian market here.

Bring it On: Lakshmi Mittal has opened a new front in the UK in a worldwide legal battle with the Ruia family. 

And the Saga Continues: Set against the backdrop of an ongoing tussle for Essar steel, the billionaire has accused his fellow Indian tycoons of hiding funds through a series of sham transactions within the Essar Group.

More on the matter here.

 

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