Flipkart board said to have okayed $15-bn deal to sell 75% stake to Walmart

Walmar, Flipkart

The board of Flipkart Online Services Pvt has approved an agreement to sell about 75 per cent of the company to a Walmart Inc.-led group for approximately $15 billion, according to people familiar with the matter, an enormous bet by the American retailer on international expansion.

Under the proposed deal, SoftBank Group Corp. will sell all of the 20-plus per cent stake it holds in Flipkart through an investment fund at a valuation of roughly $20 billion, said the people, asking not to be named because the matter is private. Google-parent Alphabet Inc. is likely to participate in the investment with Walmart, said one of the people. A final close is expected within 10 days, though terms could still change and a deal isn’t certain, they said.

That would seal a Walmart triumph over Amazon.com Inc., which has been trying to take control of Flipkart with a competing offer. Flipkart’s board ultimately decided a deal with Walmart is more likely to win regulatory approval because Amazon is the No. 2 e-commerce operator in India behind Flipkart Walmart Deal and its primary competitor. Amazon is out of the running unless Walmart hits unforeseen trouble.

f completed, the deal will give Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart a leading position in the growing market of 1.3 billion people and a chance to rebuild its reputation online. The world’s largest retailer has struggled against Amazon as consumers increase their spending on the internet. India is the next big potential prize after the U.S. and China, where foreign retailers have made little progress against Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

SoftBank declined to comment. Flipkart, Walmart and Google didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

Amazon has already been aggressively expanding in the country on its own. Founder Jeff Bezos has committed $5.5 billion to the country and his local chief, Amit Agarwal, has made progress by adapting the site to local conditions.

After Losing China, Jeff Bezos Really Wants to Win in India

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Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro price slashed on Amazon: Know price, specs, features

South Korean electronics giant Samsung has reduced the price of its midrange smartphone Galaxy C7 Pro, launched last year in India at Rs 27,990, exclusively on Amazon India. The smartphone is now retailing at Rs 21,990 on the e-commerce portal.

The Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro is the younger sibling of the Galaxy C9 Pro, another midrange flagship smartphone. The camera-centric smartphone sports midrange specifications and features. Being a Galaxy C-series device, it aimed at the value-for-money proposition. However, priced under Rs 30,000, the phone rivals the OnePlus 3T and OnePlus 5 – both sporting top-notch innards and considered premium flagships.

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro specifications: Talking of specifications, the Galaxy C7 Pro is powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 626 system-on-chip (SoC), which is an octa-core processor with a maximum frequency of 2.2GHz. The processor is no powerhouse. However, it is not too bad, given that the Galaxy C7 Pro is a mid-range device with high ambitions; the processor is good for day-to-day tasks and still holds some power to process a few heavy-duty jobs.

The Galaxy C7 Pro offers 64 GB of internal memory and 4 GB of RAM. And, if you find 64 GB of internal memory less for your data, there is also the option of extending the memory to up to 256 GB using a microSD card.

Samsung Galaxy C7 Pro design: In terms of design, The Galaxy C7 Pro features a metallic body, with a 2.5D curved Gorilla Glass that covers almost the entire front. On the front, the side bezels around the display are almost negligible, but the top and bottom bezels are too big – even odd. The huge top and bottom bezels do bring down the overall design quotient of the device.

On the back, the Galaxy C7 Pro sports a primary camera module assisted with dual-tone flash, and the ‘Samsung’ label in the middle of the smartphone. Interesting to note on the back of the device is how the company has worked on the antenna lines to integrate them in the design, making them part of the overall aesthetics. The camera rim protrudes from the body but does not damage the design tone of the handset.

The sides are curved, with volume rocker buttons on the left and a power switch on the right. On the top, the device feature a secondary microphone. And there are a 3.5mm audio jack support, primary microphone, USB type-C port, and a speaker grill on the bottom. There is a fingerprint scanner below the home screen button that works smoothly and unlocks the device within a fraction of a second.

Google Alert on Amazon: Trai, CCI need to adopt internet regulation 3.0

Net neutrality, Internet, Web

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Last week Google announced it will remove its YouTube service from Amazon’s Fire TV streaming devices, as well as its Echo Show smart-home device, effective January 1, 2018. The announcement is the most recent in a months-long feud between the tech giants. Google’s move is a retaliation against Amazon refusal to carry Google’s products like the Chromecast or Google Home in its online store. When big tech companies compete in almost every space, this sort of tech war is inevitable. This author discusses the need for the next phase of regulation to not just involve content but also commerce – especially in virtual goods.

 

It is pretty easy to understand things in the offline world but not so in a digital labyrinth.

 

You walk into a private business establishment, usually a 5-star hotel, and there is a sign that proclaims: “Rights of admission reserved.” This is usually aimed at keeping out the less genteel from the elegantly affluent, or to prevent what they call “untoward incidents.”

 

But what if the place was a public establishment, like an airport or a railway station? You cannot obviously pass off your discrimination as discretion or privacy in such places.

 

Strangely and interestingly, the Internet is becoming a place where practices of a certain kind to keep some people out is not going to be easy – especially if they are competitors. This is because the Internet is increasingly a public good, much like railway networks in most parts of the world. This has obvious implications for regulators such as the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) and the Competition Commission of India (CCI). I do believe the chairpersons of these guard dogs need to meet other occasionally over some productive lunches.

 

Events over the past weeks suggest that telecom giants, as well as near-monopolies on the World Wide Web, are straining at the leashes of Net Neutrality – the business of keeping content and commerce separate from carriage on the Internet so that there is no discrimination between packets of data.

TRAI has clearly underlined the public character of the Internet and decidedly batted for Net Neutrality with its ruling in November.

 

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OnePlus 5T review: 18:9 screen adds 1+ to capable mid-range flagship device

OnePlus 5T

Technology News

China-based smartphone manufacturer OnePlus, after coming up with a few affordable flagship devices, has now set a new benchmark by launching two flagships in a year. The company recently launched the OnePlus 5T Review , a flagship smartphone that breaks away from OnePlus’ 5.5-inch display culture in favour of an ultra-wide 6-inch 18:9 aspect ratio screen.

 

In a way, OnePlus has indeed repeated itself in its upgrade experiement – the company had last year launched the upgraded flagship OnePlus 3T soon after coming up with the OnePlus 3. This time, the OnePlus 5T has come within five months of the OnePlus 5 launch.

 

But how worthy was the OnePlus 5 for an upgrade? And is the OnePlus 5T even a worthy upgrade of the predecessor? Business Standard reviewed the OnePlus 5T and compared its features with the OnePlus 5 to assess the upgrade quotient. Here are our observations:

 

Display

 

OnePlus’ choice of the future-ready ultra-wide 18:9 aspect ratio screen in the OnePlus 5T is a welcome move. However, continuing with a fullHD resolution seems to limit the otherwise perfect display. Competitors have long been offering quadHD screens in their flagships. With the new ultra-wide format screen in the OnePlus 5T, the quadHD screen resolution might have been a real upgrade.

 

The OnePlus 5T display offers good sunlight legibility, contrast ratio and saturation. It covers almost the entire front with minimal top and bottom bezels. Also, the screen is no more prone to ‘Jelly effect’, which had been seen in some OnePlus 5 units.

 

Camera

 

Camera is another area where the OnePlus 5T carries some tweaks from the previous version. The OnePlus 5T still sports a dual camera set-up – 16+20 megapixel. But, the 20-megapixel telephoto lens is now replaced by a new 20 MP camera of 27mm focal length and f/1.7 aperture – similar to the primary 16 MP camera.

 

The upgraded camera set-up promises to offer enhanced low-light photography, albeit at the cost of the 1.6x optical zoom which was there in the OnePlus 5. The phone does possess 2x zoom capabilities that go up to 10x, but that is all digital work.

 

On the other hand, low-light photography on the new device is not commendable enough to make up for the loss of an optical zoom. The phone switches from a 16 MP shooter to a 20 MP one shooter under low-light conditions and uses pixel-binning technology to enhance the output. But, the output remains largely similar to the predecessor.

 

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70% discounts and more: Flipkart’s Big Freedom Sale and Amazon’s Great India Sale kick off today

flipkart and amazon independence sale

 

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Two big sales, namely Amazon’s Great India Sale and Flipkart’s Big Freedom Sale kick off today ahead of Independence Day.

 

For the e-commerce giant Flipkart’s sale, electronics, televisions, smartphones and more such products will see hefty discounts. Under ‘Largest Democracy, Legendary Deals’, Flipkart is offering discounts up to 70 per cent on some products.

 

Under its exclusive lists of products, Flipkart is offering Lenovo K5 Note smartphone at an attractive price and 50 per cent flat off on smart watches. Flipkart has put up 72 hours Xiaomi Redmi Note 4 sale, along with an extra Rs 1,000 off in exchange offer.

 

Rival Amazon.com is offering up to 35 per cent off on smartphones and up to 40 per cent off on headphones, Bluetooth headsets and power banks. Maximum discount of 70 per cent is being given on fashion and home and kitchen appliances. Other electronic appliances can be purchased at a discount of up to 50 per cent. Additionally, there will be discounts of up to 75 percent off on software products, up to 45 per cent off on tablets and cameras, and up to 35 per cent off on printers and cartridges.

 

Here are some Flipkart deals to watch out for:

Click here to check the Flipkart Deals

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos tops Gates as world’s richest man briefly

Amazon, Jeff Bezos, launch of amazon prime video, prime video, netflix

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A surge in Amazon.com shares on Thursday morning in advance of the online retailer’s earnings report has propelled founder Jeff Bezos past Bill Gates as the world’s richest person.

Shares of the online retailer rose 1.3 per cent to $1,065.92 at 10:10 am in New York, giving Bezos a net worth of $90.9 billion, versus $90.7 billion for Gates. If that holds through the 4pm close, Bezos, 53, will leapfrog Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Gates, 61, has held the top spot since May 2013.

Investors and analysts, in addition to watching Amazon’s progress in taking market share in categories such as apparel and groceries, will be scrutinising how many new subscriptions the retailer sold for its $99-a-year Amazon Prime service, which offers delivery discounts and video and music streaming. Prime shoppers spend more than customers who don’t have a membership.

“Amazon Prime is why so much physical retail is going away,” said Michael Pachter, a Wedbush Securities analyst who has a buy rating on the stock and a price target of $1,250.

 

“Anyone who joins Prime shops in retail stores 10 per cent less, and that number will keep accelerating as Amazon adds more inventory.”

 

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Honor 8 Pro

Honor 8 Pro

Latest Technology News

Chinese smartphone major Huawei’s much-awaited “Honor 8 Pro” with 6GB RAM and 128GB ROM is slated to be launched in India in the first week of July at an affordable price, a top company executive said here on Friday.

“Honor 8 Pro is one of the best Honor phone so far and will be priced in the affordable price segment,” Allen Wang, Director, Product Centre, Huawei India Consumer Business Group, told IANS.

Globally, Huawei witnessed 35 per cent growth (YOY) in revenue in 2016, with 139 million smartphone shipments. In the first quarter of 2017, the company shipped 34.55 million units in 74 countries.

The “Honor 8 Pro” smartphone features fourth generation dual-lens camera with 12MP lenses and is powered by in-house Kirin 960 processor.

The 5.7-inch smartphone has 2.5D glass, comes with 2K quad HD display and houses 4000mAh battery.

It also supports 4K videos. The smartphone’s packaging contains virtual reality (VR) lens that can be turned as VR headsets. The device will come in blue and black colours.

The company has also partnered with Gameloft and GoPro for in-built apps and is in talks with major e-tailers for exclusive online release.

The camera’s wide aperture range delivers DSLR-like depth of field effects for both photo and video shooting.

“The two lenses work in tandem to deliver the perfect shot — the monochrome lens captures a black-and-white image with incredible depth of detail while RGB lens ensures vivid colour reproduction.

The sophisticated software brings the best of two worlds together,” Wang had earlier told IANS.

The device is scheduled to be launched exclusively on Amazon.

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