Sunday, 05 July 2020

Amazon eyes $2bn stake in Airtel as FAANG companies back Indian telcos

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Thursday 04 June 20

With Reliance Jio seeing massive investment from Facebook, Google considering investing in Vodafone Idea, and now Amazon in talks with Bharti Airtel, the lines are beginning to be drawn in the sand

Back in April, Facebook made a huge investment into Reliance Jio, committing to the Indian market with a $5.7 billion share of the country’s largest telco. Jio has seen a host of further investments, with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co…

Back in April, Facebook made a huge investment into Reliance Jio, committing to the Indian market with a $5.7 billion share of the country’s largest telco. Jio has seen a host of further investments, with Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Co. the latest to be eyeing a slice, this one to the tune of $1 billion. In recent weeks, Mukesh Ambani’s company has raised $10 billion.

Meanwhile, struggling Vodafone Idea may be seeing some light at the end of the tunnel as a result of discussions to sell a 5% stake in the company to Google.

Now, Reuters is reporting that Amazon, not to be left out, is currently in talks to invest $2 billion for a stake in third major telco, Bharti Airtel. The stake would be for around 5% equity in the company, based on its current market value.

Amazon has been gradually expanding its e-commerce footprint in India, investing $6.5 billion in the subcontinent. A partnership with Airtel would give them a useful platform to further their ambitions, making use of Airtel’s more than 300 million subscribers.

The company will have its work cut of for them, however. Reliance Jio’s partnership with Facebook will allow for the combination of the former’s e-commerce platform Jiomart with the latter’s WhatsApp, a synergy expected to generate a powerful platform for e-commerce.

As India grows increasingly digitalised, the country’s huge market potential is expected to become the next major battleground for US tech companies, as well as the local telcos. With huge investments taking place all over its telecoms sector, India, the world’s second largest telecoms market, is set to become even more important to the international tech community in a post-pandemic world.

 

Also in the news:
Rakuten and NEC building their own standalone 5G core
Google Cloud latest tech company to strike deal with UK government
COVID-19 pandemic highlights submarine cables as critical infrastructure

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