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Mukesh Ambani Faces Data Snag While in Tiff with Amazon

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There are some roadblocks in plans made Reliance Group’s Supremo, Mukesh Ambani to take on Amazon Inc and Walmart Inc on his home turf in India: his telecom and retail businesses can’t share data.

Billionaire Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries Ltd., has outlined how he will marry the might of his group’s 9,900-plus retail stores and 280-million strong telecom user base to bolster his e-commerce venture. A senior Reliance executive says that any data sharing on customers between the two, could run into a legal wall.

“They are different companies so there are data privacy rules,” Ashwin Khasgiwala, Reliance Retail Ltd.’s chief financial officer said at a conference in Mumbai on Tuesday. “They’re different platforms,” he said while declining to elaborate on how the group plans to overcome it.

While its brick-and-mortar retail businesses are housed in Reliance Retail, the telecom operations are in a separate legal entity Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. Legal hurdles in sharing information can stymie a variety of lucrative uses of that data to sell more products to customers.

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