Amazon .com may follow its American peer Facebook’s footsteps in securing a slice of India’s booming telecom market.
The e-commerce giant is in early-stage talks to buy a stake worth at least $2 billion in Bharti Airtel, the third-largest telecom operator in India, according to unnamed sources cited by Reuters.
Amazon’s interest in Bharti Airtel comes as Google is said to be in separate talks to buy stake in Vodafone Idea, the second largest telecom operator in India. In April, their fellow rival Facebook bought a 9.99% stake in the nation’s top telecom operator, Reliance Jio Platforms. According to local media reports, Microsoft is also in talks with Reliance Jio Platforms and could invest as much as $2 billion.
Facebook’s investment shows India is a major new battleground for Big Tech, said Amit Pau, a former Vodafone Global Group MD and now COO and Partner at Accloud. “Facebook’s focused attack on Amazon in Indian e-commerce through its partnership with Jio Platforms is the firing gun of an epic showdown between the world’s biggest companies that will see Indian consumers win better services through digitization and boost the economy.”