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Google confirms its ₹50 crore investment in Jio platforms

Sanjana Rajeev 17th November 2020

Google invests in digitising India (Source: Indian Express)

Jio Platforms is a telecom service that is a subsidiary owned by Reliance with over 400 million subscribers. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved Google's ₹450 Crore investment in India's biggest telecom platform Jio acquiring 7.73% stakes for ₹33,737 crores in the venture.

Facebook's investment in Jio was made in April, with the social networking site investing ₹570 Crores in Jio for a 9.9% stake, which makes Facebook the largest minority stakeholder.

Jio Platforms is looking forward to launching about 200 million smartphones with domestic manufacturers' help in the coming three years, with each phone costing ₹4000. According to the deal, Google and Jio platforms collaborate for this launch. "Google said it plans to jointly develop an 'entry-level affordable smartphone' with Jio Platforms that will be optimized for Android and the Play Store and Teaming up with Jio gives Google the best chance at getting the Play Store and other Google services available to an even wider audience in India" as reported by CNBC News18.

There was also a notice filed by Google and Jio with the regulators. As per the notice according to Times Now News, "The parties, thus, consider that the only relevant market for assessing the horizontal competitive effects of the transaction in the market for the supply of mobile phones in India. Outside this transaction, Google and JPL will continue to conduct their business activities independently." Google claims that this deal will accelerate India's ''digital economy'' over the coming years through a blend of investments and partnerships. Now, for the customers, this can be seen as a positive situation where they get access to more services and a wide range of Google's apps.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, also expressed his thoughts on the deal by tweeting, "everyone should have access to the internet. Proud to partner with Jio to increase access for the hundreds of millions in India who don't own a smartphone with our 1st investment of ₹450 Crore from the #GoogleForIndia Digitization Fund."

The Indian market is one of the few where people have not switched to smartphones yet, and the main reason for this is the cost. Jio's entry to the industry came with access to internet connectivity for millions of Indians. Now, by partnering with Google, Jio is looking ahead to do the same with the launching of smartphones at an affordable price to Indians.

(Sources: CNBC, LiveMint, Business Insider)

Edited by: Tanya Jain, Anjali Dinesh

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