Star India has continued its vexing policy to challenge and stall every TRAI order through a court of law. Last month, they challenged the TRAI's proposed draft tariff order even before it was formulised and declared! The TRAI was in fact responding to instructions ..........
STAR INDIA'S INVESTMENT COMPANY APPROVED
Star India is in the process of establishing a company that will act as an investment vehicle, in the Indian media market. Its proposed investment company has received the FIPB nod, in late December 2016.
Interestingly, Star India has chosen to resurrect its earlier JV company 'Star DEN' and re-align its activities as an investment company.
Readers will recall that Star Den Media Services Pvt. Ltd was announced in January 2008, as a 50:50 joint venture with DEN Networks to distribute all Star India's TV channels, to Cable TV, DTH, HITS & IPTV platforms in India.
Star-Den then entered into an alliance to form Media Pro, a JV between Star-Den & Zee-Turner, to jointly distribute all Zee, Turner and Star TV channels.
Subsequent TRAI regulations prohibited the bundling of TV channels across broadcasters, for distribution, to restrict monopolistic distribution tactics. Media Pro was disbanded.
On 16 March 2016, Star India bought out DEN Networks' 50% stake for Rs. 40.35 crore.
Star Den is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Star India.
It is surprising that Star India has chosen to use an unrelated company, that too one which includes the DEN name, for its investment company in India.
Star had, in fact applied for FIPB approval for Star Den, soon after it bought out the DEN stake. The FIPB had rejected Star DEN Media Services' proposal.
Subsequently Star Den made a fresh, revised application, in December 2016, the FIPB permitted Star DEN Media Services to change its business activities from TV distribution services to acting as an investing company.
Star India will now use Star Den media Services Pvt. Ltd to make investments in different ventures, as and when an opportunity arises.
Overall, foreign direct investment (FDI) into India grew by 30% to $21.62 billion during the first half of 2016-17. n