After investing over $4.5 billion in Reliance Jio, Google may potentially invest in Bharti Airtel.
The technology giant may be on its way to make a "substantial investment, running into several thousands of crores of rupees” in Bharti Airtel, a report in The Times of India said.
Citing top sources, the report added that Google was in “advanced stage of negotiations” with the telecom company for the past one year. The fine points of the deal are being looked into by the internal and external legal and Merger and Acquisitions (M&A) teams of both the companies.
Moneycontrol could not independently verify the report.
In July 2020, Google invested $4.5 billion in Jio Platforms, taking a 7.73 percent stake in the company. This was the first investment from Google under its India Digitisation Fund, through which it plans to invest $10 billion over the next five to seven years to accelerate its digital economy.
Google and Jio Platforms also entered into a commercial agreement to jointly develop an entry-level affordable smartphone with optimisations to the Android operating system and the Play Store, an effort that would help millions of users in India become owners of smartphones.
Jio and Google cloud have also come together in a cloud partnership through which Reliance would migrate its core retail businesses like Reliance Retail, JioMart, JioHealth, JioSaavn and others to Google Cloud’s infrastructure.
Meanwhile, the deal could be a respite at the time when the telecom sector is facing serious financial stress after receiving a setback on the issue involving adjusted gross revenue (AGR)-related dues, as the Supreme Court dismissed the applications which sought re-calculation of dues.
Neither Google nor Airtel has responded to queries sent by the publication.Disclaimer: MoneyControl is a part of the Network18 group. Network18 is controlled by Independent Media Trust, of which Reliance Industries is the sole beneficiary.