Amazon.com is in early-stage talks to buy a stake worth at least US$2-billion in Indian mobile operator Bharti Airtel, according to three sources with knowledge of the matter, underscoring the growing attraction of India’s digital economy for US technology giants.
The planned investment, if completed, would mean Amazon acquiring a roughly 5% stake based on the current market value of Bharti, which is India’s third largest telecoms company with more than 300 million subscribers.
The discussions between Amazon and Bharti come at a time when global players are placing major bets on the digital arm of Reliance Industries, which owns Bharti’s telecoms rival Jio.
The talks between Bharti and Amazon are at an early stage and the deal terms could change, or an agreement may not be reached
Reliance’s digital unit has raised $10-billion in recent weeks from Facebook, KKR and others.
The talks between Bharti and Amazon are at an early stage and the deal terms could change, or an agreement may not be reached, said two of the three sources, all of whom declined to be identified because the discussions are confidential.