US giant retailer Amazon is in early stage talks to buy a stake worth at least $2Billion in Bharti Airtel.
The planned investment, if completed, would mean Amazon acquring a roughly 5% stake based on the current market value of Airtel, India’s third -largest telco with more than 300 million subscribers. Global technology firms are already placing major bets on the digital arm of Reliance Industries, which is owned by Bharti’s rival Jio. Reliance digital has raised $10Billion in recent weeks from Facebook, KKR and others.
These are early stage talks, said a source. “The deal terms could change, or an agreement may not be reached”.
An amazon spokeswoman said the company does “not offer comments on speculations of what we may or may not do in the future.
Bharti said they routinely work with all digital players to bring their products, content and services to constomers. ” Beyond that, there is no activity to report,” it said in a statement.
Amazon counts India as a crucial growth market where it has committed $6.5 billion in investments mainly towards expanding its e-commerce footprint. The Seattle-based company has in recent years also expanded its digital offering in India via its voice -activated speakers, video streaming and cloud coverage as it seeks to tap a rising number of internet and smartphone users in the country of 1.3billion people.