Bloomberg LP’s India Joint Venture with Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Media is coming to an end, as reported on Moneycontrol.com. Bloomberg has already started conversations with other Indian media organizations for finding its fourth Indian partner.
Raghav Bahl has been trying to launch Bloomberg Quint on Television but the world seems to be conspiring against it. Reasons for Bloomberg’s exit from the JV could be Bahl’s inability to secure a television license despite trying for it since 2016 and allegations of tax evasion and bribery have rattled the Bloomberg LP founder, who is hopeful of being the Democratic nominee for US President against Donald Trump in 2020.
However, both parties have denied the news of the JV ending.
“It seems to be at the behest of vested interests who are apparently resentful of the success of BloombergQuint, which has created a strong footprint in the digital space. We are confident that as soon as our broadcast license is approved, we shall replicate that success in the broadcast market and go further. Since the content of your mail lacks credence and is motivated by vested interests, we do not wish to state anything further,” Bahl told Moneycontrol.com
Since Quint didn’t get the TV license, Bahl launched a digital-only Business News service with a plan to convert it into a Business News Channel on Television. However, Bahl saw that employees were leaving the company and attrition rate was hitting through the roof, leading to losses.
After it became clear that the application for a broadcast license was getting delayed due to security and other clearances, As reported on Moneycontrol.com Bahl decided to circumvent the process by buying a shell company – Horizon Satellite Services – that held a news broadcasting license. His plan was to seek government permission to reboot Horizon, change its name and the board of directors and relaunch it as BloombergQuint.
Bahl has been in deep trouble with the Income Tax Department and the Enforcement Directorate. He has been accused of tax evasion and money laundering, which he obviously has been denying.