Amazon accuses Reliance of fraud, Facebook lets advertisers secretly boost BJP’s reach, and more

Amazon calls Reliance’s takeover of Future Stores a fraud

Amazon published an advertisement in the Economic Times to allege that the transfer of Future Retail’s assets is being carried out clandestinely by committing fraud before the courts, tribunals and statutory bodies, according to an ET report.

  • Reliance last month took over prized real estate and its staff suddenly showed up at several of Future’s biggest stores to take control, Reuters reported.
  • Both Amazon and Future have been engaged in a lengthy legal battle since October 2020.

Read: Everything you need to know about Amazon addiction and the future retail case

Facebook allowed ghost advertisers to give BJP more reach online

Facebook allowed a large number of ghost and surrogate advertisers to covertly fund BJP election campaigns in India and boost the ruling party’s visibility, according to a report by Al Jazeera. The analysis focused on advertisements published on the platform spanning 22 months and ten elections.

  • On Facebook, a total of 8,359 advertisers (individuals and organizations) paid 613.73 million rupees ($8.01 million) on 454,297 political advertisements. The remaining announcements were published without disclosing the source of funding. Facebook said similar ads would be removed in the future.
  • TRC and ad.watch identified all marketers who paid more than 500,000 rupees ($6,529) for the study. There were a total of 145 listings in this category. Until then, they accounted for more than two-thirds of all political ad spending.

Ukrainians still have internet access despite bombings and attacks

Ukraine’s urban infrastructure has been under attack since Russia invaded the country on Feb. 24, but the internet has continued to function in those areas, according to a report by Entrackr.

  • This was largely possible thanks to telecommunications operators who showed the way in some cases, the report reveals.
  • The agency charged with protecting the country’s telecom networks is working with telecom operators “and other parts of government to deploy repair teams when networks are damaged,” he said.

Google pledges $3 million for Data transfer project on five years

Google has committed $3 million over the next five years to the data transfer project, along with hundreds of hours of engineering work. According to Google, the new funds will be used to create open-source frameworks that enable more forms of data transfer and enable more companies and organizations to join the project.

EY India investigates finances of social commerce startup Trell

EY India’s forensic team is currently conducting a detailed investigation into the finances of the influencer-led social commerce startup Trell and has submitted an interim report, according to an ET report. The advisory firm investigates related party transactions alleged by its founders and other financial irregularities.

Bharatpe offers secured loans and launches gold loan offers

BharatPe announced gold loans for its merchant partners on March 14, with a strong focus on business. With this, the company entered the secured lending business, partnering with RBI-approved NBFCs (non-bank financial organizations) to offer gold loans up to Rs 20 lakh.

HackerOne blocks bug bounty payments, say Ukrainian hackers

Ukrainian hackers and security researchers say cybersecurity firm HackerOne is delaying payment of its bug bounties, which can amount to thousands of dollars, and refusing to allow them to withdraw their earnings. According to research, HackerOne accounts are withholding refunds due to economic sanctions and export controls imposed after Russia invaded Ukraine in late February, but the measures do not apply to them.

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European Parliament committee rejects proposal on proof-of-work cryptos

The European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee voted 30 to 23 on March 14 to keep the provision on cryptocurrency bitcoins outside of a draft Framework for Crypto Asset Markets (MiCA), the regulatory package comprehensive EU to control digital assets.

SoftBank’s Munish Varma to quit Paytm and PB Fintech

Munish Varma, managing partner of SoftBank, plans to quit the boards of parent company Paytm One97 communication and PB Fintech less than six months after the companies went public in India, sources told Moneycontrol. Shares of both companies have been hammered in recent months, so the move seems timely, the report added.

Petition filed against unlicensed grocery stores in Bombay HC

The Indian Hotel and Restaurant Association has filed a lawsuit in the Bombay High Court against restaurants that were “illegally” using food delivery apps such as Swiggy, Zomato, WeFast, ShadowFax, Thirsty Crow and Dunzo. The petition was filed under Article 226 of the Indian Constitution.

AdTech company receives $500,000 from Marquee Investors

Excellent Publicity, an Ahmedabad-based adtech company, secured $500,000 from Marquee Investors, according to a press release. The company intends to expand its service territory to all Indian metropolitan areas, invest in programmatic advertising and data analytics technologies, as well as acquire an Indian Newspaper-approved advertising agency Society (INS).

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