Google is investing up to $1 billion in a major Indian telecom company, a move it hopes will drive down the cost of smartphonesin one of the world’s largest consumer markets.
Google said in a statement Friday that it would invest $700 million in Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telecom operator, and acquire a 1.28% stake in the company. An additional $300 million would be used for potential multi-year commercial agreements, the companies added.
According to Airtel, the two companies want to work with device manufacturers to”bring down the barriers of owning a smartphone across a range of price points.”They also expect to work together on 5G and cloud services in the country.
The deal, which is still subject to regulatory approvals, marks Google’s latest push into a market that has become critical for Big Tech firms looking to expand their global footprint.