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India OKs Google’s Investment In Jio Platforms

 |  November 12, 2020

Google has won a green light from India’s competition watchdog for its plans to purchase a significant stake in Jio Platforms, the nation’s largest telecom.

In a Wednesday, November 11, tweet, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) announced its decision to approve Google’s US$4.5 billion investment.

Under terms of the deal, Google will acquire a 7.73% ownership stake in Jio, with plans to also team up to build low-cost, affordable Android smartphones aimed at hundreds of millions of potential users at the lower end of the market in India.

Google’s interest in Jio, and in India’s emerging market for consumer technology,  is no surprise given the country’s explosive growth.

Jio Platforms is planning to launch as many as 200 million smartphones in the next three years, according to a pitch the telecom giant has made to several developers. These smartphones, as is the case with nearly 40 million of Jio’s feature phones in circulation today, will have an app store with only a few dozen apps, all vetted and approved by Jio, according to one developer who was pitched by Jio Platforms. An industry executive described Jio’s store as a walled garden.

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