The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Google’s acquisition of a minority stake in Indian telecom giant, Bharti Airtel. The government body said that it has approved Google’s proposal of acquiring a minority and non-controlling stake of 1.28 percent of equity share capital Airtel. Also Read - Hacker breached our network via employee Google account, says Cisco
“Along with the IA, the Acquirer and the Target through their affiliates have also entered into certain commercial deals,” CCI wrote in a press release. Also Read - 'There will be blood on streets,' Google execs warn employees about layoffs
“The Commission approved the proposed combination on the basis of modifications offered by the Acquirer.” the commission added. Also Read - YouTube plans to launch an online store for streaming videos: Report
About the Google — Airtel deal
Google, back in January this year, had announced an investment of $1 billion in Bharti Airtel. The investment was a part of the company’s Google for India Digitisation Fund. As a part of the deal, Google would invest $700 million in acquiring a non-controlling stake of 1.28 percent in Airtel at a price of Rs 734 per share. The remaining $300 million would be directed toward potential multi-year commercial agreements with the telecom operator, which includes investments in scaling Airtel’s offerings that covers a range of devices to consumers via innovative affordability programs as well as other offerings aimed at accelerating access and digital inclusion across India’s digital ecosystem.
At the time, Airtel had said that as a part of its first commercial agreement, Airtel and Google would work together to ‘build on Airtel’s extensive offerings that covers a range of Android-enabled devices to consumers via innovative affordability programs.’ “Together, the companies will continue to explore further opportunities to bring down the barriers of owning a smartphone across a range of price points, in partnership with various device manufacturers,” Airtel wrote in a release at the time.
The two companies had also decided to collaborate over developing India-specific use cases for 5G connectivity and growing the cloud ecosystem in the country. “Under the larger strategic goals of the partnership, both companies will also potentially co-create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards, with cutting-edge implementations,” the company added. Airtel had also said that it would scale up the deployment of Google’s network virtualisation solutions to enhance customer experience.