Bharti Airtel on Friday said that there is “no such proposal in consideration” as it issued a clarification on the media report of Amazon eyeing a stake worth US$2 billion in its company. The third largest telecom operator in India was responding to a Reuters report that said that Amazon could acquire 5% stake in Airtel. The publication in its report cited three sources “with knowledge of the matter” as it highlighted talks being in early stages “could change, or an agreement may not be reached.”
Bharti Airtel Declines Reports of Amazon Eyeing a Stake
However, the company in its clarification to the BSE said that it “routinely works” with all digital and OTT players to introduce their products to Airtel users.
“In this regard, it is clarified the Company routinely works with all digital and OTT players and has deep engagement with them to bring their products, content and services for our wide customer base,” Bharti Airtel said in its clarification to the BSE. “Beyond that, there is, at this stage, no such proposal in consideration.”
A spokesperson for Amazon had told Reuters that the company does “not offer comments on speculation of what we may or may not do in future.”
The reports of US tech giants being interested in Indian telecom operators has seen a rapid increase ever since Reliance announced a deal with Facebook in April. Reliance has continued to attract investments from various entities including KKR, General Atlantic and Vista Equity Partners. Additionally, Reliance on Friday said that Mubadala Investment Company, the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign investor, will invest Rs 9,093.60 crore in Jio Platforms for an 1.85% stake. The announcement on Friday is the sixth such investment in Jio Platforms in six weeks.
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea Attract Rumor Mills
While Reliance has continued to attract investments from various entities, market reports have linked Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel with US tech companies.
In late May, it was reported that Google was eyeing a 5% stake in Vodafone Idea. Crucially, the report emerged just weeks after British telecom major Vodafone in an earnings report highlighted that it will not inject fresh equity into its Indian venture. However, Vodafone Idea in a filing with the stock exchanges said that “there is no proposal as reported” in the media.