CCI approves Google’s $700m investment in Bharti Airtel

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the proposed combination involving a $700 million (Rs5,224.38 crore) investment by Google International LLC in Bharti Airtel Limited.

Earlier this year, Bharti Airtel, the country’s second-largest telecom operator, announced it was securing a $1 billion investment from Google.

On June 30, 2022, Airtel said it had received the green light from CCI for Google’s $700 million investment.

Google has signed an Investment Agreement (IA) with Bharti Airtel, under which it will acquire a minority and non-majority stake of 1.28% of the Indian company’s share capital. Along with AI, Google and Bharti Airtel, through their affiliates, have also entered into some commercial agreements. The parties also intend to enter into certain other trade agreements in the future.

The TCC approved the proposed combination based on changes proposed by Google.

Google and Airtel are looking to strike several business deals in the future that will be different from what Jio plans to do with the search engine giant.

Google is also working closely with Reliance Jio, India’s largest telecom operator and Bharti Airtel’s main competitor. This, the companies claim, will have no conflict of interest with this combination.

Gopal Vittal, CEO of Bharti Airtel, had earlier said there would be no conflict of interest in the phone company’s deal with Google. Vittal had clarified that the agreement between Airtel and Google is different from the one between Google and Jio.

Google and Airtel are looking to strike several business deals in the future that will be different from what Jio plans to do with the search engine giant.

Airtel also announced the deferral of additional AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) dues until FY2018-19 for four years, which will help the company save thousands of crores which will put Airtel in a very strong position to take on Jio.

Google International LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Google LLC. Google LLC is a Delaware limited liability company and a wholly owned subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. The Acquirer is a holding company and does not own/operate any Google products/services. Google, however, offers a variety of products and services, including its flagship search service, Android operating system, and Play app store.

Bharti Airtel Limited, headquartered in India, is an international communications solutions provider with over 480 million customers in 17 countries in South Asia and Africa. BAL’s retail portfolio includes high-speed mobile broadband, Airtel Xstream Fiber, streaming services (music and video), digital payments and financial services, among others. For enterprise customers, BAL offers solutions including secure connectivity, cloud and data center services, cybersecurity, IoT, advertising services and cloud-based communication.