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India watchdog accuses Amazon of concealing facts in deal for Future Group unit

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India’s antitrust regulator has taken aim at retail giant Amazon

According to Reuters, the watchdog accused Amazon of concealing facts and making false submissions when it sought approval for a 2019 investment in a Future Group unit.

That letter complicates Amazon’s bitter legal battle with Future Group over the Indian firm’s decision to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries.

That matter that is now before India’s Supreme Court

The US-based retail giant has argued that terms agreed upon in its 2019 deal had been misrepresented.

Amazon says the deal to pay $192 million for a 49% stake in Future’s gift voucher unit was to prevent its parent, Future Group, from selling its Future Retail Ltd business to Reliance.

Reuters states that in the letter dated June 4, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) stated that Amazon hid factual aspects of the transaction.

The CCI claimed Amazon did this by not revealing its strategic interest in Future Retail when it sought approval for the 2019 deal.

“The representations and conduct of Amazon before the Commission amounts to misrepresentation, making false statements and suppression or/and concealment of material facts,”

It also noted that its review of the submissions made had been prompted by a complaint from Future Group.

In the four-page letter, a so-called “show cause notice”, the CCI asked Amazon why it should not take action and penalise the company for providing false information.

Amazon has yet to respond, according to a source with direct knowledge of the matter who declined to be identified as the letter has not been made public.

Amazon said in a statement to Reuters it had received a letter, was committed to complying with India’s laws, and would extend its full cooperation to the CCI.

“We are confident that we will be able to address the CCI’s concerns,”

Representatives for Future and the CCI did not respond to Reuter’s requests for comment.

Anthony Lucas is reporter, presenter and social media producer with ticker News. Anthony holds a Bachelor of Professional Communication, with a major in Journalism from RMIT University as well as a Diploma of Arts and Entertainment journalism from Collarts. He’s previously worked for 9 News, ONE FM Radio and Southern Cross Austerio’s Hit Radio Network. 

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WhatsApp ramps up privacy features

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WhatsApp ramps up privacy features to prevent subscriber loss

The world’s two billion plus WhatsApp users will soon have greater privacy controls with new platform changes on the way.

Meta boss, Mark Zuckerberg, announced the new WhatsApp updates in a Facebook post earlier this week.  

Users will be able to make a stealthy exit from group conversations without the rest of the participants being notified.

Other changes include allowing users the ability to check messages without others knowing and controlling who sees when they are online.

These functions have been flagged as being rolled out to WhatsApp users over the next month.  

Even more significant to user privacy is a function that is still under development.

Here, WhatsApp users can allow their messages to be viewed only once with an added screenshot blocking feature.

This will prevent other users saving their communication onto their phones for future reference.  

The changes have been announced after Meta was scrutinised last year for their data sharing practices after an update of its Terms of Service.

META CEO, Mark Zuckerberg as WhatsApp ramps up privacy features

Users were concerned over suggestions WhatsApp user data would be shared and utilised by parent company Meta.

WhatsApp has always boasted about the benefits of its end-to-end encryption preventing.

The news that WhatsApp planned to share user data more widely with Meta shook users’ faith in the platform.  

As the third most popular social media platform, it seems Meta is keen to retain this market share by increasing its privacy features.

Some would say this is both to allay security fears and to prevent them from moving to other popular messaging apps such as Signal.  

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Why airline executives are being forced to face customers

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As frustrated customers take their anger out on the remaining airport checkin staff, airline executives are being forced onto the front line to face customers.

The return of summer in Europe has been overshadowed by travel chaos, leaving passengers frustrated and often out of pocket.

Thousands of people have been left to battle airport queues that last hours, long delays and thousands of cancellations.

Airports and airlines face staff shortages forcing them to reduce the number of scheduled flights – often at short notice. 

It’s a global problem, with airports and airlines rushing to hire back the thousands of positions they axed at the start of covid.

But how do you do it, and how long until things return to normal?

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Facebook hands teen’s data to police for abortion charge

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New reports reveal that Facebook has handed over data to police to help criminally punish a teenager for seeking to get an abortion

The tech giant turned Celeste Burgess’ Facebook message’s into the authorities, where she is being charged for “removing and abandoning a dead human body.”

The 17-year-old lives in Nebraska where abortion isn’t illegal, but the abortion happened via medication at 23 weeks.

Nebraska has a 20 week pregnancy cut off date, and the medication also warns against medical abortion past this time.

The teen’s mother is also facing 5 charges.

This comes amid widespread controversy after the historic Roe v Wade ruling was overturned in the United States.

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