Amazon to Launch Fleet of 10,000 ED Vehicles in India by 2025; Zomato Acquires Uber Eats India for USD 350 million; TikTok Signs Sub-Licensing Agreement to Monetise India Operations; Brand Heineken 0.0 Partners with James Bond; Spotify to Acquire Podcasting Network ‘The Ringer’; Apple Signs Music Deal with NBA and more.
Amazon to Launch Fleet of 10,000 ED Vehicles in India by 2025
In a bid to increase energy efficiency and minimise adverse environmental impact, eCommerce giant Amazon has announced its commitment to deploying 10,000 electronic delivery vehicles (EDV) in 20 Indian cities by 2025. The vehicles will be three wheelers as well as four wheelers, and will be manufactured in partnership with Indian vehicle manufacturers. Boosted by the success of its pilot runs using electronic vehicles in the supply chain, this announcement comes as an addition to Amazon’s Climate Pledge initiative to use one lakh electronic delivery vehicles globally by 2030.
Amazon’s statement also mentions the Indian Government’s FAME (Faster Adoption and Manufacturing of Hybrid and Electric Vehicles in India) policy as having encouraged its electronic vehicle plans in the country. This development follows last September’s announcement by the company to eliminate single use plastic packaging waste. Other commitments in its Climate Pledge include becoming a net zero carbon company by 2040, a decade before the 2050 goal in the Paris Accord.
Zomato Acquires Uber Eats India for USD 350 million
In the first major consolidation acquisition in the online food-delivery market, Zomato has completely acquired Uber Eats India for USD 350 million (approximately Rs. 2,485 crores), giving parent company Uber a 10% shareholding in Zomato. Uber Eats will cease to exist as a separate brand and customers will be redirected to Zomato, with 90% customers of Uber Eats expected to switch to Zomato. This acquisition will give the combined entity a 50 to 55% market share in terms of number as well as value of online food orders. The deal was enabled by Zomato’s latest round of funding by Ant Financial, the FinTech company, which is an affiliate of the Chinese eCommerce platform Alibaba. Ant Financial valued the company at USD 3 billion and infused USD 150 million into the Gurgaon-based company.
Uber had been looking to offload its food delivery business due to huge operating losses according to regulatory disclosures, and a reported deal to sell the business to Swiggy had fallen through in February 2018. Its model relied heavily on steep discounts to lure consumers in the highly competitive Indian food-delivery market, since around the same time in 2018, Uber’s Indian competitor, Ola had also reduced focus on its food delivery business, Foodpanda.
TikTok Signs Sub-Licensing Agreement with Tencent
Chinese short-video platform TikTok is aggressively expanding its business both at home and in India. ByteDance, the Chinese parent of TikTok has reached a Sub-Licensing Agreement with Tencent Music. The deal will enable TikTok users to legally perform and share Tencent-owned music on the platform. For Tencent, TikTok will act as an important additional channel for reaching consumers. At the same time, in India, TikTok is looking for ways to monetise the large user base it has quickly acquired in the country.
Executives from ByteDance’s monetisation have been conducting meetings with Indian creators and influencers, assessing their needs and payment mechanisms, maintaining that the monetisation will also help creators make money from the app. Deliberations are said to include introduction of features and tools that will allow brands to collect information and data on the user bases of influencers. This will allow for product placements through pop-up formats, which will help the company to measure sales directed at them from the platform and assess their rate of investment.
Heineken Partners with James Bond
Continuing their long-running partnership, Heineken has launched a new global advertising campaign for its non-alcoholic beer Heineken 0.0 featuring Daniel Craig partly playing the fictional character James Bond. The two-minute ad will also be played in more than 74 countries before the new James Bond series film releases in April. The campaign includes tie-ins in the new movie ‘No Time To Die’ and Heineken will release consumer promotions and limited edition packaging centering around the James Bond franchise.
The ad shows Daniel Craig repeatedly being mistaken for James Bond, the character he is famous for playing, and emphasises his human and relatable aspects such as catching his breath after running, and finally shows him enjoying a bottle of Heineken 0.0. The advertising focus by Heineken on its alcohol-free beers is a part of its effort to reach out to consumers who are looking to drink less or are non-drinkers. This is also a part of the company’s strategy to deal with reduced beer consumption among millennials and the wellness trend’s focus on trying to reduce or eliminate alcohol consumption.
Spotify to Acquire Podcasting Network ‘The Ringer’
In the wake of analysts’ warning that Spotify’s business is underperforming, Spotify has launched efforts and talks to acquire podcasting network The Ringer. This might be due to podcasts being hailed as the next big thing in the audio streaming industry. The talks are reportedly in early stages, some are predicting that Spotify’s competitors such as Apple Music might launch their own efforts at acquiring podcast entities, driving up investment in the podcast industry. Other major players are also looking to make strategic investments in podcasting, especially as a means to differentiate themselves from one another in the crowded audio streaming market.
Apple Music and the NBA Sign New Deal
Apple music has announced a deal with the US National Basketball Association. As part of this deal, Apple music will generate an exclusive playlist of 40 songs, featuring mostly urban and indie-genre artists with a hip-hop vibe on a weekly basis. The playlist will be compiled in partnership with music services platform UnitedMasters. The songs will be played in NBA’s in-game highlights, social media videos, and on the NBA app and websites. UnitedMasters maintains that it will strive to promote emerging urban artists and smaller music labels.
Authored and compiled by Neharika Vhatkar (Associate, BananaIP Counsels) and Yashita Gour (Legal Intern)
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