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Amazon In Negotiations With India’s Bharti Airtel To Pick Up A Stake Worth $2 Billion

Amazon In Negotiations With India’s Bharti Airtel To Pick Up A Stake Worth $2 Billion
Reports from India have suggested that United States based largest e-commerce company of the world Amazon is currently in talks with the Indian telecom and mobile operator Bharti Airtel to pick up a stake in the company for an estimated value of at least $2 billion. Sources reportedly told the media that the talks are in the early stages. Analysts viewed his development as a reflection of the growing importance that the US tech giants are according to the digital economy of India.
Based on the current market value of Bharti Airtel, if the deal goes through, Amazon is likely to take control of a 5 per cent stake in the Indian company. At present Bharti Airtel is the third largest mobile operator of India with more than 300 million subscribers.
This development for Bharti Airtel comes at a time when major global companies have shown interest and have invested in the digital arm of Reliance Industries, whose mobile service provider Jio is the major rival of Bharati Airtel in the India market.
Global companies including Facebook, KKR and others have made a total investment of more than $10 billion in Reliance's digital unit in recent weeks.
The report however also cautioned, quoting sources, that the deal terms between Amazon and Bharti Airtel could change in the future because the talks are still in the early stages. The reports also cautioned that the deal may not go through completely if the talks break down,
The company does "not offer comments on speculation of what we may or may not do in future," an Amazon spokeswoman told the media in response ot the reports.
 On the other hand, Bharti Airtel said that the company regularly coordinates and partners with all digital players to bring their products, content and services to its customers. "Beyond that there is no other activity to report," the company said in a statement.
For Amazon, India is one of its crucial markets for growth and the company has already made an investment of $6.5 billion in the business strategy of expanding the footprint of its e-commerce business in the Indian market.
Products and services such as voice-activated speakers, video streaming and cloud storage have, in recent years, been launched in the Indian market by the Seattle, US-based company with an aim of yapping into the increasing number of internet and smartphone users in the Indian market with a market size of more than 1.3 billion.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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