Dow Jones and Bennett Coleman have made an application to the information and broadcasting (I&B) ministry for starting the Indian edition of Wall Street Journal (WSJ), according to sources. Even as the joint venture (JV) announcement was made a few months ago, the application was filed late last week.
Bennett Coleman and Dow Jones propose to have a 74:26 venture, as per Indian print media rules. However, Indian edition of foreign newspapers is not permitted in the country yet. Content of the Indian WSJ is likely to be the same as the international edition.
Recently, Hyderabad-based Midram Publications began printing International Herald Tribune (IHT) from India, leading to a controversial situation. The government is in the process of amending the Press and Registration Act now, to introduce legal provisions on the issue.
Although there have been talks on allowing Indian edition of foreign papers, nothing would be done before the IHT matter is sorted out.
Meanwhile, the proposed entry of WSJ into the Indian market is being watched by media analysts with interest.
“Thanks to the hike in foreign direct investment (FDI) limits in the newspaper publishing sector, a lot more action is likely to be seen from the global players wanting to invest in this sector,” said PricewaterhouseCoopers head of entertainment and media practice, Deepak Kapoor. He cited the example of Wall Street Journal publishing from India.