Google invests $947m in Singtel associate Bharti Airtel to boost India push


MUMBAI (BLOOMBERG) – Google will invest US$700 million (S$947 million) in India’s No. 2 mobile-phone operator, deepening its push into the world’s second-largest wireless market.

Alphabet, which owns the Google search engine, will acquire a 1.28 per cent stake in Bharti Airtel at 734 rupees per share, according to an exchange filing from Bharti on Friday (Jan 28). An additional US$300 million will be towards multi-year agreements, it said.

Asia’s third-largest economy and its almost 1.4 billion population present an attractive opportunity for the technology giant, whose Android software competes with Apple for global operating system dominance.

The country is a key growth market for Google’s search and advertising businesses as well as for others such as Facebook, and Netflix as the only billion-people-plus country that is still open to foreign firms.

Google had previously invested in billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s digital unit.

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