Top headlines: May Services PMI improves, US to probe India for digital tax

The numbers in April and May point to an extreme drop in services activity across India, mainly due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the virus
Covid-19: Services PMI improves from April lows to 12.6 in May
India's services activity, after suffering a shock collapse to an unprecedented low level in April, recovered marginally in May 2020, showed IHS Markit Services Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) numbers released on Wednesday. Even as the headline figure rose from April's all-time low of 5.4, it remained at 12.6 during May, a level unparalleled in over 14 years of data collection, barring the recent months that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. The numbers in April and May point to an extreme drop in services activity across India, mainly due to the nationwide lockdown imposed to prevent the spread of the virus. Read More...

Tata Tele to sell residual businesses to repay banks, gets promoter support
Tata Teleservices, which reported a loss of Rs 13,225 crore for the fiscal 2020, plans to sell its residual business in the current financial year to pay off loans. Tata Sons, the promoter, has promised to provide for till June next year any liquidity crunch the company may face till the sale is completed. Read more

US says it will probe India, other countries for digital services taxes

Donald Trump's administration has decided to investigate digital services taxes considered by several trading partners, including India, to 'unfairly target American tech companies', an US official has announced. "President Trump is concerned that many of our trading partners are adopting tax schemes designed to unfairly target our companies," US Trade Representatives (USTR) Robert Lighthizer said on Tuesday, according to news agency PTI. Other countries against whom the investigations might be initiated include Austria, Brazil, the Czech Republic, the European Union, Indonesia, Italy, Spain, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Read More...

RIL nearing Jio Platforms deal with West Asian sovereign funds: Report
Three leading West Asian sovereign wealth funds are in advanced talks to invest in Reliance Industries Ltd.’s Jio Platforms, Bloomberg News reported quoting sources. Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co. is slated to invest about $1 billion into the digital arm and an announcement could come as soon as this week, said the news agency, following similar reports last week. Mukesh Ambani-backed Reliance is also in discussions with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Saudi Arabia’s The Public Investment Fund. Jio Platforms, which houses music and movie apps as well a Reliance's telecommunication venture Jio Infocomm, has secured a massive $10 billion from investors including Facebook Inc in May. Read More...

Google faces $5 bn lawsuit in US for illegally tracking internet usage

Google was sued on Tuesday in a proposed class action accusing the internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their internet use through browsers set in "private" mode. The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet Inc unit of surreptitiously collecting information about what people view online and where they browse, despite their using what Google calls Incognito mode. According to the complaint filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, Google gathers data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads. Read More...

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