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Google invests $1bn in Indian telco Airtel, following Jio stake

Search group to help push mobile connectivity as regulatory scrutiny grows

Google has now bought into India's two biggest telecom operators, Bharti Airtel and Jio Platforms. (Source photos by Reuters)

BENGALURU -- Internet search group Google has invested $1 billion for a 1.28% stake in Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel by dipping into its $10-billion India Digitization Fund, a move that underscores the company's urgency to make smartphone and internet usage ubiquitous in the country amid increasing regulatory scrutiny.

With the investment in Airtel, Google has now bought into India's two biggest telecom operators -- after buying 7.7% of Reliance Industries' Jio Platforms for 337.3 billion rupees in 2020 -- which together control 67% of India's cellular market.

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