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, Amazon.com 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.