Amazon may invest $2 billion (Rs. 15,000cr) in Airtel: Report
After Facebook's multi-billion-dollar investment in Jio Platforms, e-commerce giant Amazon is moving to strike a deal with its competitor - Bharti Airtel. According to a report in Reuters, the Jeff Bezos-led conglomerate is in talks with the leadership at Airtel to buy a stake worth at least $2 billion. Here is all you need to know about it.
Multiple sources familiar with the developments at both the companies confirmed to Reuters that Amazon is in 'early-stage' talks to buy a stake in Airtel. They said that the online shopping giant is planning to invest at least $2 billion in the Indian telco but emphasized at the same time that nothing is confirmed at this stage.
The sources noted that the terms of the deal could change in the future or the companies may not even reach an agreement. But, if it moves ahead, it means Amazon will be acquiring roughly 5% of India's third-largest telecom company, with a subscriber base of more than 300 million (at the time of writing).
The deal also shows that India's booming telecom and internet market has become an attractive prospect for American tech giants. Facebook has already bought a 9.99% stake in Jio Platforms, which controls the country's biggest telecom company Reliance Jio Infocomm. Then, separately, Google is said to be in talks to buy a stake in Vodafone Idea, the second-largest telco in India.
Along with this, Microsoft is also rumored to be mulling an investment worth as much as $2 billion in Jio Platforms. The Reliance-owned company has been on a money-raising spree and has sold stake worth $10 billion through multiple deals in the last few weeks.
That said, as of now, neither Amazon nor Airtel has shown any sign of the deal progressing. Amazon's spokesperson said the company does "not offer comments on speculation of what we may or may not do in future." Meanwhile, Airtel said they routinely partner with digital players to take their products to customers, but "beyond that, there is no other activity to report."