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After Jio, Google invests in Airtel: Here’s what we know about it

$300 million of $1 billion will go toward potential multi-year commercial agreements over the course of next five years with Airtel.

Published:Fri, January 28, 2022 2:22pm

By Shweta Ganjoo

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Alphabet Inc's Google today announced that it is investing one billion dollars in Bharti Airtel. This investment is a part of Google's India Digitisation Fund that was announced back in 2020. As a part of this investment, Google will acquire a 1.28% stake in Airtel for a sum of $700 million. The remaining $300 million will go toward potential multi-year commercial agreements over the course of next five years.

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As a part of the agreement, Google will acquire 71,176,839 shares in Airtel at a price of Rs 734 per equity share.

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Google India said that as a part of its first commercial agreement under this deal, it will work to scale Airtel's offerings that covers a range of devices to consumers via innovative affordability programs. Together, the two companies will also create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards, besides expanding the country's cloud infrastructure for 'accelerating the digital transformation journeys of small and medium businesses across the country.'

"Our commercial and equity investment in Airtel is a continuation of our Google for India Digitization Fund's efforts to increase access to smartphones, enhance connectivity to support new business models, and help companies on their digital transformation journey," Al[habet Inc CEO Sundar Pichai said on the occasion.

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"Airtel and Google share the vision to grow India's digital dividend through innovative products. With our future ready network, digital platforms, last mile distribution and payments ecosystem, we look forward to working closely with Google to increase the depth and breadth of India's digital ecosystem," said Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal.

It is worth noting that this is not the first time that Google has invested in a telecom company in India. The tech giant back in 2020 announced a similar partnership with Reliance Industries' Jio Platforms. As a part of the partnership, the company invested $4.5 billion for a 7.73% stake in the company.

Additionally, the two companies also partnered to work on an optimised version of Google's Android OS for Jio's smartphones. Jio launched Android OS-based Pragati OS powered JioPhone Next last year.

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