Amazon eyeing stake in Bharti Airtel, may invest $2 billion: source

US e-commerce giant Amazon (Amazon) is considering investing $2 billion in Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel. The agreement to buy a stake is currently at an early stage. This information was given by three sources involved in the deal. After Facebook, Amazon’s conversation is clear that Us tech companies are looking at India’s digital economy.

According to sources, if the potential investment is met, Amazon is believed to buy about 5 per cent stake in Airtel at the current market price. Airtel is India’s third-largest telecom company. It has over 300 million subscribers.

The talks between Amazon and Bharti are taking place at a time when global companies are betting heavily on Reliance Industries’ digital unit Jio. Jio is a rival company of Bharti Telcom. Reliance’s digital company has raised $10 billion from Facebook, KKR and other companies in recent weeks.

Two of the three sources said that the talks between Bharti and Amazon could change the terms of the deal at an early stage or the agreement may not be completed. Not all sources revealed their identities because this discussion is confidential.

Amazon, Bharti deny speculation

An Amazon spokesperson says the company does not comment on future speculation. Bharti said in a statement that the regular work of all digital companies is to provide their products, content and services to the customers. Also, there are no other activities to tell.

For Amazon, India is an important market where it has committed to invest $6.5 billion. The company has to expand in the field of ecommerce. Amazon, headquartered in Seattle, has recently expanded digital services in India through voice-activated speakers, video streaming and cloud storage. The company wants to reach out to growing internet and smartphone users in the country of 1.3 billion.