Google to invest $1B in India's second-largest mobile provider
This step comes as the Android creator seeks to expand its influence in the massive country's industry.
Google is intending to invest $1 billion in Airtel, India's second-largest mobile operator, according to the firm on Friday, as the Android creator seeks to expand its influence in the massive country's burgeoning telecoms industry.
According to a joint announcement, the global IT giant will purchase a $700 million interest in billionaire Sunil Mittal's Bharti Airtel, giving it 1.28% ownership.
Over the next five years, up to $300 million more will be spent in "mutually agreeable" commercial ventures, including the potential to "bring down the barriers of owning a smartphone" in the market.
In a statement, Sunday Pichai, the Indian-born CEO of Google parent Alphabet, expressed, "We are proud to partner on a shared vision for expanding connectivity and ensuring equitable access to the internet for more Indians."
After a $4.5 billion investment in 2020, Google owns 7.7% of Indian market leader Reliance Jio, which is controlled by Asia's richest man, Mukesh Ambani.
The two businesses partnered on a low-cost, 4G-enabled smartphone that was released in November of last year.
Since introducing reduced internet and free calls in 2016, Jio has been involved in a pricing battle with Airtel and British telecommunications major Vodafone's local affiliate Vi.