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Twitter board wants $44 bn deal to go through amid Musk-Agrawal tussle

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Despite the ongoing tussle between Elon Musk and Parag Agrawal, the Twitter board is keen to see the $44 billion takeover deal go through as it is in the “best interest of all shareholders”, the media reported on Wednesday.

“We intend to close the transaction and enforce the merger agreement,” the board said Tuesday in a statement to Bloomberg.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc and JPMorgan Chase & Co may earn a combined $133 million in fees for advising Twitter on the acquisition, but only if the deal goes through.

The Tesla CEO on Tuesday said that the $44 billion deal at $54.20 a share “cannot move forward” until the Twitter CEO Agrawal proves the actual bot numbers.

While Twitter maintains it has less than 5 per cent fake/spammy accounts on its platform, Musk believes the number can be as high at 50 per cent, and wants Agrawal to come clean on this.

In a tech conference in Miami on Monday, a frustrated Musk even said that a viable deal at a lower price wouldn’t be “out of the question” as Twitter may be hiding the actual number of users from its advertisers.

Musk said that Twitter could have at least four times more fake accounts than what has been revealed in its US SEC filing, asking the commission to probe the micro-blogging platform’s claim.

Meanwhile, Musk will have to pay Twitter $1 billion in termination fee if he drops the $44 billion takeover deal, according to an SEC filing.

The filing said that the micro-blogging platform will also have to pay the same amount if it terminates Musk’s takeover deal.

“Upon termination of the Merger Agreement under specified limited circumstances, Twitter will be required to pay Parent a termination fee of $1 billion,” according to the SEC filing.

“Musk will be required to pay Twitter a termination fee of $1 billion,” if he cancels the deal.

As part of the deal, Morgan Stanley and other financial institutions have committed to providing $13 billion in financing, along with $12.5 billion in margin loans to Musk, against his shares in Tesla and other companies.

Musk will provide financing of approximately $21 billion on his own.

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Reliance Jio, GSMA roll out initiative to train rural women in digital skills

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Reliance Jio and global mobile network operators’ organisation GSMA on Tuesday announced the roll-out of their digital skills programme to train rural women in India.

The programme aims to provide need-based training to rural women and individuals from marginalised/low-income groups to help them make meaningful use of digital access.

The national roll-out phase is now underway, with the programme being rolled out across 10 states.

“We are proud to partner with GSMA in this programme to take digital skills training to the women across India and be the wind beneath their wings,” said Isha Ambani, Director, Reliance Jio.

As per the GSMA’s ‘Mobile Gender Gap Report 2022’, women in India are 41 per cent less likely than men to use mobile internet.

A total of 330 million women in India still do not use mobile internet, compared to 248 million men. Lack of literacy and digital skills is one of the top reported barriers to mobile internet use.

As a part of the programme, the GSMA and Jio teams worked together to assess prevalent digital skill gaps and develop need-based digital skills training toolkits that are India-specific.

Over 1,000 rural women and men from Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu participated and provided inputs for the refinement of the digital training toolkits during the trial phase.

Reliance Foundation will be supporting the roll-out through its large network and self-help groups, particularly in rural areas.

“More needs to be done to ensure women are not being left behind in an increasingly connected world. We are excited to partner with Jio and Reliance Foundation to take the Digital Skills Programme national and help accelerate digital inclusion for women,” said Mats Granryd, Director General, GSMA.

The GSMA is a global organisation unifying the mobile ecosystem to discover, develop and deliver innovation foundational to positive business environments and societal change.

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Centre asks Vodafone Idea to convert Rs 16,000 dues into equity

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Financially-stressed telecom company Vodafone Idea said on Friday that the government has directed it to convert a portion of its dues worth Rs 16,000 crore it owes to the exchequer into equity in the government’s favour.

“It is hereby informed that the Ministry of Communications has [directed] the company to convert the NPV of the interest related to deferment of spectrum auction instalments and AGR dues into equity shares to be issued to the government of India,” the company said in a filing.

The government will take 33 per cent equity in Vodafone Idea after converting all interest related to payments for spectrum and other dues into equity.

This will make the government the largest shareholder in the telecom company.

Vodafone Idea will convert dues of Rs 16,133 crore into equity and issue shares for Rs 10 each, the company informed.

“We had sought a firm commitment that the Aditya Birla Group would run the company and bring necessary investments. The Birlas have agreed and hence we have agreed to convert. We want India to be a three-player market plus BSNL and ensure healthy competition for consumers,” Telecom Minister Ashwini Vaishnaw said in a statement.

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I-T dept raids over 30 locations of five builder groups across Jaipur

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The Income Tax department on Thursday raided over 30 locations of five builder groups across Jaipur. The teams also conducted search operations at two locations of a builder group in Gurugram.

Officials said that the I-T department had received a tip-off that these builders were engaged in making cash deals while selling flats in multi-storey buildings, plots and commercial properties in Jaipur.

After verification, 40 teams of the investigating branch of the I-T department raided their locations on Thursday morning. Raids have been conducted at the premises of Manglam Group, Sanjivani, R-Tech, Jugal Derewala and Haridutt, including their offices, corporate offices and residential premises.

The I-T teams have raided places in Jaipur including Tonk Road, Mansarovar, Rajapark, Jagatpura, C-Scheme, Civil Lines, Ajmer Road, Delhi Road, Agra Road and Sanganer.

Sources said that the department had received complaints of undisclosed income running into crores of rupees. All the five builders were using cash to buy and sell land. So the I-T teams raided around 38 targets simultaneously. According to the information received so far, huge amount of cash, and documents of land purchase and sale have been found from their premises.

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