Amazon eyes to buy $2 billion stakes in Airtel


In a major development, in talks to buy a stake worth at least $2 billion in Indian mobile operator Bharti Airtel.

The planned investment, would mean Amazon acquiring a roughly 5% stake based on the current market value of Bharti, which is India’s third-largest telecoms company with more than 320 million subscribers.

The discussions between Amazon and Bharti come at a time when global players are placing major bets on the digital arm of Reliance Industries.

Meanwhile, Reliance’s digital unit has raised $10 billion in recent weeks from Facebook, KKR and others.

The talks between Bharti and Amazon are at an early stage and the deal terms could change, or deal may not be reached, said two of the three sources.

The company does “not offer comments on speculation of what we may or may not do in future,” said the firm.

Bharti said they routinely work with all digital players to bring their products, content and services to customers.

Amazon counts India as a crucial growth market where it has committed $6.5 billion in investments mainly toward expanding its e-commerce footprint.

The Seattle-based company has in recent years also expanded its digital offerings in India via its voice-activated speakers, video streaming and cloud storage, as it seeks to tap a rising number of internet and smartphone users in the country of 1.3 billion people.