daily column – 23rd june 2021

Dissent within the ranks at Google?

According to the New York Times, some Google personnel feel the business is suffering due to its scale and CEO Sundar Pichai’s leadership. They cited a paralyzing bureaucracy, a proclivity for inactivity, and a focus on general impression, all of which are characteristic of a big, mature corporation.

From inside: According to the article, Pichai has led the business through harsh Congressional questioning and handled concerns about possible bias built into the company’s platforms effectively but not so well within the organization. In December, the high-profile departure of Timnit Gebru, a co-leader of Google’s Ethical A.I. team and one of the company’s most well-known Black female workers, illustrates the problem.

New battlegrounds: Meanwhile, Pichai is put to the test in his own country and abroad. Google is being investigated in India for suspected abuses of dominance in the smart T.V. operating system industry. At the same time, the European Union has launched a formal inquiry into potential violations in its ad-tech business. Google recently agreed to pay a $270 million punishment to French antitrust authorities as part of a settlement.

Tencent vs. India’s equivalent of Alibaba

It is believed to be on the phones of 1.3 billion Indians, according to Tata and Reliance. They’ve begun to divide India’s technological scene into two distinct groups. In this power struggle, Tata has gained a new friend in the form of Airtel. The Tata Group has used its prior connection with Sunil Mittal to become Airtel’s 5G technology supplier. In case you forgot, Tata Docomo was sold to Airtel for almost nothing in 2017. Tata’s very successful TCS will now play a role in this unusual collaboration.

In the meanwhile, Reliance has announced a collaboration with Intel to develop 5G networking technologies. Intel was one of the several businesses that invested in RIL last year.

It doesn’t end there: according to The Economic Times, the Tata Group of businesses is currently in the market to raise to $2.5 billion in cash to fund its e-commerce aspirations. After acquiring a controlling interest in Curefit, BigBasket, and 1mg, it has reached this conclusion. For perspective, Reliance raised $15.2 billion in financing in 2020 from a variety of sources, including Google, Facebook, SilverLake, KKR, and General Atlantic. It also invested $200 million in Kalaari Capital’s fourth fund and bought online food e-commerce startup MilkBasket.

This competition, according to Bloomberg, is India’s equivalent of Alibaba vs. Tencent. Pony Ma and Jack Ma are so similar that the whole technological ecosystem has been pushed to collaborate with one of the two behemoths. But the battle has only just begun. This isn’t the first time an Indian firm has attempted to create a nifty app (or “ecosystem”).

Paytm Mall (which covered all e-commerce), payments (and investment), and games, Paytm have attempted to create one. It was unable to complete the task. To compete with Amazon, Flipkart teamed up with MakeMyTrip, Ola, and Gaana, utilizing PhonePe as a payment layer. The result was less than ideal. Tata, too, has all the makings of a fantastic app.

Airlines, grocery stores, e-commerce, and even automobiles are all examples of this. Meanwhile, Reliance is the country’s largest retailer and has the country’s largest mobile phone user base. The stage has been prepared, and the whole world will be waiting to see how the protagonist, the Indian consumer, performs.

Steven Spielberg is now available on Netflix

Steven Spielberg has signed a multi-year agreement with Netflix to produce films. The news may not be as commercially significant as some of the other Hollywood stories we’ve covered, but it has enormous symbolic importance.

After all, Spielberg famously said that movies that first aired on streaming platforms were “T.V. pictures” and that they “deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar.”

Amblin Partners, Spielberg’s production company, will produce several new films for Netflix, with the first few titles set to debut before year end.

Netflix, unlike some of its competitors, tends to court creative talent over making large purchases. We recently reported on Amazon’s acquisition of MGM and WarnerMedia’s merger with Discovery Inc., which owns HBO Max.

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