WPI rises to 0.58% in November. Govt planning to implement all four labour codes on single date in 2020. RIL arm enters into a deal with Canada's Brookfield to get over INR25,000cr in investments. Uber reportedly all set to sell UberEats’ India business to Zomato. Licious raises $30mn from Vertex Growth Fund. Apple, Amazon and Google announce major partnership to build smart devices compatible with each other. Reliance, BP form joint venture for fuel retail under Jio-BP brand. German court bans Uber’s ride-hailing service. After London and Germany, Colombia bans Uber. Ride-hailing firms join forces in California to fight new gig economy law. Amazon tests sourcing fresh produce directly from farmers to sell online. Instagram rolls out new features to combat fake news. Facebook mulls hiring users as contractors to fact-check content on its platform.
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When Up is Down: Wholesale prices based inflation (WPI) rose to 0.58% in November as against 0.16% in October. This surge was contributed by an increase in prices of food items.
The rate of price rise for food articles rose to 11% in the same period while for non-food articles it was 1.93%. The same numbers for October were 9.80% and 2.35% respectively. The Hindu
Big Day: The government is reportedly planning to implement all four labour codes on a single date next year.
“The thinking within the government is that a single date for the implementation of all the four labour codes will be fruitful because it will ensure uniformity and will lead to an efficient execution,” a Labour and Employment Ministry official was quoted as saying. BS
FYI: The labour code on wages has already become a law. The remaining three codes - on industrial relations, social secutiry and welfare, and occupational safety, health and working conditions - have been introduced in the Lok Sabha. It is when all these codes become laws that industry will have to apply for a single registration instead of separate labour law registrations.
We've Got A Deal: Reliance Industrial Investments and Holdings Limited (RIIHL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Reliance Industries Limited (RIL), has entered into binding agreements with Brookfield Infrastructure Partners, and its institutional partners, for an investment of INR25,215cr in the units to be issued by the Tower Infrastructure Trust, it said in a filing with the exchanges.
At the closing of the transaction, the trust will own 100% of the issued and paid up equity share capital of Reliance Jio lnfratel Private Limited (RJIPL), which currently has a portfolio of approximately 130,000 communication towers that form the infrastructure backbone of Reliance Jio's telecommunication network. It has plans to build additional towers with the total number of towers expected to reach approximately 1,75,000. Business Today
Pleased to Make Your Acquisition: Uber is reportedly all set to sell UberEats’ India business to Zomato, valuing the same at $400mn. As part of the deal, the ride-hailing firm may invest $150-$200mn in Zomato and get a sizable stake in the firm.
While the deal is still being negotiated by both parties, it could be finalised by the end of the year. TechCrunch
Deal of the Day: Online fresh meat brand Licious has raised $30mn in Series E funding round led by Singapore-based Vertex Growth Fund. Existing investors 3one4 Capital, Bertelsmann India Investments, Vertex Ventures Southeast Asia and India, and Sistema Asia Fund also participated in the round.
The proceeds from the funding round will be used to expand presence in a greater number of Indian cities, augmenting capabilities in existing markets, strengthening omni-channel presence, and powering new product launches, especially in the ready-to-eat category. Yourstory
Arch-Rivals Apple, Amazon and Google have announced that they’re working with the Zigbee Alliance, a foundation that promotes standards for the Internet of Things, and its members including Samsung Electronics, Somfy SA and IKEA, on a new standard that will ensure their products work with one another.
The plan is to develop and promote the adoption of of a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products, with security as a fundamental design tenet. Business Insider
Going Places: British energy major BP and Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) have signed a definitive agreement to form their new Indian fuels and mobility joint venture branded as Jio-BP.
RIL will hold 51%, while BP will hold the remaining 49% in the JV that will assume ownership of RIL’s existing Indian fuel retail network and access its aviation fuel business. Reliance will receive INR7,000cr from BP for acquiring a 49% stake in the petro-retail JV.
The venture expects to expand from RIL’s current fuel retailing network of over 1,400 retail sites and 30 aviation fuel stations across India to up to 5,500 retail sites and 45 aviation fuel stations over the next five years to become the most preferred provider of automotive and aviation fuels. Hindu BusinessLine
No Uber, No Cry: A court in Germany has ruled that Uber doesn't have the necessary license to operate a business that employs for-hire drivers. This effectively bars the ride-hailing giant from conducting business in the seven cities it operates in, in Germany.
The case was brought by a Germany taxi association and, if it doesn’t comply with the ruling, Uber could pay fines up to €250,000 per ride. Endgadget
Your Uber Has Disappeared: After London and Germany, now Colombia has admonished Uber. On Friday, the South American nation ordered the ride-hailing company to cease operations immediately after a judge ruled the company violated competition rules.
Uber has more than 2.3mn active users in Colombia and around 88,000 driver partners.
The lawsuit was filed by the Superintendency of Industry and Commerce (SIC). The SIC in a statement said Uber generated “a significant advantage in the market” by rendering transport services for individuals via its app.
Uber, meanwhile, said it rejected the ruling and immediately appealed it. Reuters
Lyft Down: The ride-hailing backlash continues. A California law regulating the gig economy is set to go into effect in January. And Uber and Lyft have joined forces to rally against the law, lest they are forced to classify their drivers as employees and not as independent contractors as they do currently. The former classification would require the ride-hailing giants to provide relevant benefits, including the minimum wage and paid sick days.
Uber and Lyft insist that they are not transportation companies but a technology platform that link drivers and passengers together. The legal battle that will follow will involve courts, regulators, activists, unions, and a $100mn war chest that ride-hailing companies have amassed to exempt them from the law. Read more here.
Straight Outta Farmland: Amazon is running a pilot project in Pune where fresh produce is sourced directly from farmers and sold online, removing all middlemen involved.
The farm-to-fork initiative will see Amazon Retail India work with dozens of farmers in the region. The fruits and vegetables will be sold online through the Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry platforms. If successful, the pilot project could be expanded to more cities in the country.
Food and grocery is the largest portion of India’s retail market. Organised retailers account for $25bn of India’s annual $580bn food and grocery market and the segment is expected to grow to $69bn by 2024, according to Axis Capital. ET Tech
Update: Instagram is reportedly all set to expand its fact-checking test. It will work with 45 third-party organisations to assess the truthfulness of photo and video content on its app.
On the Explore and hashtag pages, material rated as false will be hidden and covered with a warning blocking the content until users tap again to see the post. TechCrunch
You Be the Judge: Speaking of pilot projects, another one is underway half-way around the world. Facebook is enlisting users as community reviewers to fact check content on its platform in order to detect misinformation faster.
The users will be hired as contractors to review content flagged as potentially false through machine learning, after which it will be sent to Facebook's third-party fact-checking partners. Reuters
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