Bharti Airtel and Google Deal Worth $700 Million Gets CCI Approval

Google is also working closely with Reliance Jio, India’s number one telecom operator and the primary competition of Bharti Airtel. Gopal Vittal, CEO of Bharti Airtel had said earlier that there will be no conflict of interest in the telco’s deal with Google.

Highlights

  • Earlier this year, Bharti Airtel, the second-largest telecom operator in the country announced that it is getting a $1 billion investment from Google.
  • On June 30, 2022, Airtel said that it has received a green light from CCI for the Google investment of $700 million (Rs 52,243.80 million).
  • Google and Airtel are looking to form multiple commercial agreements in the future which will be different than what Jio plans to do with the search-engine giant.

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Earlier this year, Bharti Airtel, the second-largest telecom operator in the country announced that it is getting a $1 billion investment from Google. Out of the $1 billion, over $700 million was an investment in the telco for a 1.28% stake. The remaining $300 million were meant for forming multi-year agreements. The main purpose of Google’s investment in Airtel was to co-create India-specific 5G use cases. The shareholders of the telco had approved the deal between the companies. However, a final decision from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) was yet to come.

On June 30, 2022, Airtel said that it has received a green light from CCI for the Google investment of $700 million (Rs 52,243.80 million). Airtel will issue Google up to 71,176,839 equity shares of the face value of Rs 5 each at a price of Rs 734 per equity share.

This means that Google will now own 1.28% of Bharti Airtel.

No Conflict of Interest to Emerge Even Though Google Also Partnered with Jio

Google is also working closely with Reliance Jio, India’s number one telecom operator and the primary competition of Bharti Airtel.

Gopal Vittal, CEO of Bharti Airtel had said earlier that there will be no conflict of interest in the telco’s deal with Google. Vittal had clarified that the deal between Airtel and Google is a different one than what exists between Google and Jio.

Google and Airtel are looking to form multiple commercial agreements in the future which will be different from what Jio plans to do with the search-engine giant. This is a big win for Bharti Airtel.

This money coupled with the thousands of crores that Airtel will save by announcing deferment of additional AGR (adjusted gross revenue) dues of up to FY2018-19 for four years will put Airtel in a very strong position to go head-to-head against Jio.

The war for winning customers in the 5G era will start again and this time Jio will have Airtel as an equal competitor.

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