Indian Telecom industry has gained immense attention this year with first Facebook investing in Jio and then speculations of Google investing in Vodafone Idea. According to sources, now Amazon has approached Bharti Airtel, India’s third largest telecom company for a to own about 5% stakes.
The e-commerce giant is expected to invest about $2 billion in Airtel which has a subscriber base of over 300 million. The reports state that the discussion is at an early stage presently and can lead to an agreement or not based on the details of the deal.
Amazon refused to comment on the development while Airtel said that the company often collaborates with OTT platforms and engages with them to bring their products, content and services for its wide customer base and there is no news beyond that.
Airtel’s stock price was boosted by 4.3% from Rs 559 to Rs 583.25 within 10 minutes post the news.
The news comes at a time when Reliance Jio has already raised approximately Rs 78,562 crore in multiple rounds from leading companies like Facebook, General Atlantic, Silver Lake, Vista and KKR within a couple of months. Google’s reported discussions with Vodafone have been denied by the involved firms.
Indian telecom industry is an attractive bet for companies trying to gain over Indian market as it provides access to millions of customers overnight, intelligence and most importantly helps them to tap into ripe digital platforms servicing a large market.
If the partnership goes through, it will be a brilliant opportunity for Airtel and Vodafone to combat the pressure from Reliance-Facebook deal as they will also have access to global leaders like Google and Amazon. These investments will also be helpful for the tech companies as they will be able to foray into digital infrastructure in India where a good number of internet users rely on mobile data.