Bloomberg LP’s joint venture with Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion Media is set to collapse, according to a report in MoneyControl. The report says Bloomberg is possibly approaching other Indian media groups for “conversations”.
MoneyControl quotes “highly placed sources” who said Bahl’s “inability to secure a television license despite trying for it since 2016 and allegations of tax evasion and bribery” have “rattled” Michael Bloomberg, the co-founder, owner and CEO of Bloomberg LP. Michael Bloomberg announced in November that he was joining the 2020 presidential race in the US.
In a response to MoneyControl, Bahl said the suggestions that the joint venture is ending are “falsehoods and wrong assertions”. He said, “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 is the former promoter of Network18, which runs MoneyControl. On November 28, Bloomberg reported that Reliance Industries Limited Chairman Mukesh Ambani is “in talks” to sell the news properties of Network18 Media & Investments Ltd to the Times Group. Reliance called the reports “false and baseless”. Earlier in November, Bloomberg reported that Sony Corps was engaging in “preliminary” talks to acquire a stake in Network18.