Amazon may buy $2 billion stake in Bharti Airtel

Sources say talks are in early stages and if materialize will make Amazon the owner of almost 5% of stake based on the current market value of Bharti Airtel

Amazon had sued partner Future Group, accusing it of breaching contract by sealing a deal to sell its retail assets to Reliance Industries. Photo: PTI

Amazon.com is likely to buy a stake worth $2 billion in Indian mobile operator Bharti Airtel, India’s third-largest telecom company with more than 300 million subscribers, Reuters reported quoting three sources privy to the deal.

The report said talks in this regard are in an early stage and when materialized would make Amazon the owner of almost 5 per cent of stake based on the current market value of Bharti Airtel.

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The sources whom Reuters quoted, however, said that the deal terms could change or an agreement may not be reached.

Spokespersons of both Amazon and Bharti didn’t give a clear reply when asked about the same.

While the Amazon’s spokesperson declined to divulge any comments on speculation on the company’s future plans, Bharati said they “routinely work with all digital players to bring their products, content and services to customers.”

“Beyond that there is no other activity to report,” the company said in a statement.

The discussions come at a time when global players are eyeing Jio, Bharati’s rival. Jio, the digital arm of Reliance has raised $10 billion in the recent weeks from Facebook, KKR and others.

Related news: Facebook-Reliance deal: Here’s what it could mean for India

India is a vital market for Amazon which has committed $6.6 billion in investments towards expanding its e-commerce in the country.

 

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