Srinagar, India, Nov 12 (efe-epa).- India’s antitrust watchdog on Thursday said it approved Google’s $4.5 billion investment in the digital arm of Reliance Industries, the country’s leading business group.
“The Competition Commission of India (CCI) approves acquisition of 7.73% equity share capital of Jio Platforms by Google,” the watchdog said in a statement.
The American tech giant is planning to spend $10 billion on the “Google For India fund” to boost the digitalization of the Indian economy. Google announced the fund in July.
Google announced that as part of the funds, it planned to buy a 7.7 percent stake in Jio Platforms in a deal worth $4.5 billion to jointly develop an entry-level Android smartphone and make technology accessible to “millions of users” in India.
The Indian giant is planning to launch 200 million such smartphones in the next three years.
Reliance Industries chairman Mukesh Ambani, the richest Indian on the planet, has announced that the two firms have signed a binding partnership and an investment agreement.
The investment is the latest from a United States tech firm in Jio Platforms after Google’s rival Facebook became the largest minority stakeholder in Jio Platforms in April by investing $5.7 billion for a 9.99 percent stake in the venture.
More than a dozen global funds and companies have invested in the Indian tech company, for around 33 percent of its total stake, including Abu Dhabi’s sovereign investment arms Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Mubadala as well as Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund.
American chipmaker Qualcomm has also announced a $97 million investment in Jio as part of growing interest in the Indian digital and e-commerce market among global players.
Ambani, 62, said in a statement in July that Jio’s strategic and financial investors had now committed a total of more than $20 billion in investment in the last few months.
The billionaire tycoon, who, according to Forbes, runs a $88 billion (revenue) oil and gas giant Reliance Industries, announced that Jio would soon launch trials for its 5G network in the country to enable a large number of Indians to access the high-speed internet.
“Jio has designed and developed a complete 5G solution from scratch. It will be ready for trials as soon as the 5G spectrum is available and can be ready for field deployment next year,” he said. EFE-EPA