MOM investigated ownership structures of 58 media outlets across television, print, radio and online between December 2018 and May 2019. These are owned by 39 companies and 45 individual owners. MOM team managed to find owners of almost all media outlets except for one, which is registered in the US, Delaware. Scroll Media Inc.’s shareholding structure is not available.
All media companies in the sample were contacted by email and courier in the months of January through April 2019 with request to either share or confirm information regarding their ownership structures and financial reports. Only one media outlet, the Print, has responded, however, they requested a non-disclosure agreement in return.
Most of the data related to ownership structures was publicly available in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) website upon payment of a fee of INR 100 (USD 1.44) per company. Some companies include shareholders in their filings who have passed away yet still officially hold shares. No information on share transfer was available. MCA has an outdated copyright policy of 2006 under the name of the Ministry of Company Affairs which does not allow reproduction of the documents stored on its website. All the documents downloaded from the MCA website were reformatted to remove the personal details of directors and shareholders.
Most of the media companies in India have also business interests outside of media sector, interestingly real estate appears to be one of the most popular side businesses.