Amazon.com is in early-stage talks to buy a stake worth at least $2 billion in Bharti Airtel, a Reuters report said citing sources, underscoring the growing attraction of India's digital economy among American tech giants.
If the said plan goes through, Amazon would be acquiring a roughly 5 percent stake based on the current market value of India's third-largest telecom company with more than 300 million subscribers.
Shares of Bharti Airtel closed nearly 6 percent higher at Rs 585 during the day.
The talks between Bharti and Amazon are at an early stage and the deal terms could change, or an agreement may not be reached, said two of the three sources of Reuters. An Amazon spokeswoman told Reuters that the company does "not offer comments on speculation of what we may or may not do in future."
On the other hand, Bharti Airtel said they routinely work with all digital players to bring their products, content and services to customers. "Beyond that there is no other activity to report," it said in a statement.
After the recent agreement between social media giant Facebook and Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) to purchase 9.9 percent stake in the latter's telecom arm Jio Platforms, reports have been surfacing on the interest of foreign investors in tapping the opportunity of a rising number of internet and smartphone users in the country of 1.3 billion people.
On 28 May, Financial Times report citing sources said that Alphabet Inc's Google is looking to buy about 5 percent stake in Vodafone Idea.
However, the next day, the telecom operator said that while it is constantly evaluating various opportunities, there is "currently, there is no proposal as reported by the media that is being considered at the Board."