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Google Pours $1 Billion in India’s Second-Largest Phone Operator

  • $700 million will go into buying 1.28% stake in Bharti Airtel
  • Google invested $4.5 billion in Ambani’s digital unit in 2020
A Bharti Airtel Ltd. store in Mumbai.

A Bharti Airtel Ltd. store in Mumbai.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg
Updated on

Google will invest as much as $1 billion in India’s second-largest mobile phone operator, as firms race to offer inexpensive data and digital offerings in the only billion-people-plus market still open to foreign companies.

Alphabet Inc., which owns the Google search engine, will pay $700 million for a 1.28% stake in Bharti Airtel Ltd., the New Delhi-based company said in an exchange filing Friday. Another $300 million is part of a corpus that will be invested over five years in the areas of devices, network and cloud technologies, Gopal Vittal, Bharti’s chief executive officer for India and South Asia, said in a media call later in the day.