The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Thursday has approved Google’s proposed acquisition of a minority stake in telecom major Bharti Airtel. The deal has been cleared on the basis of modifications offered by the acquirer, according to an official release.
Google International and Airtel have entered into an investment agreement to buy a minority and non-controlling stake of 1.28 percent of equity share capital in the telecom player.
Along with the investment agreeement, both companies through their affiliates have also entered into certain commercial deals. The parties also intend to enter into certain other commercial arrangements in future, as per the release.
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Deals beyond a certain threshold require approval from the regulator, which keeps a tab on unfair business practices in the market place.
Google International is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Google. The latter is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet.
Earlier in January this year, Google announced its plan to invest up to $1 billion (roughly Rs. 7,510 crore) in Airtel in a move that could help bolster the Indian telecom operator’s digital offerings, the companies said.
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The investment includes a $700 million (roughly Rs. 5,255 crore) equity investment in Airtel at a price of Rs. 734 per share and up to $300 million (roughly Rs. 2,250 crore) towards implementing commercial agreements, including investments in scaling Airtel’s offerings, the companies said.
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The share issue is subject to regulatory and shareholder approval and comes months after Airtel raised up to Rs. 21,000 crore through a sale of shares to existing shareholders.