Google will invest nearly $700M in Bharti Airtel, India’s second largest telecom company by subscribers, in a deal that would allow it to own 1.28% of the telecom conglomerate. This, after Google already invested nearly $4.5Bn in Reliance Jio — India’s largest telecom by subscriber — back in 2020.

The investment would come via preferential share sale, and Google will pay ₹734 per share, for a total of ₹52,243.80 Million. The telecom major would issue 71 Million shares to Google on that price.

In total, the deal would amount to nearly $1Bn in its commercial value. This includes Google investing $700 million to acquire 1.28 per cent ownership in Airtel and up to $300 million towards potential multi-year commercial agreements.

The investment, while vital for Airtel considering its current financial health and dues, is critical in context of the Indian telecom sector. With this investment going through, Google would own significant say in two of India’s biggest telecom companies. India already is one of the largest internet and telecom markets globally, and Google having a major say, well you get the gyst.

According to a press statement from Airtel, this new partnership will focus on enabling affordable access to smartphones across price ranges, and will continue to explore building on their existing partnerships to potentially co-create India-specific network domain use cases for 5G and other standards. It will also help accelerate the cloud ecosystem for businesses across India.

Google’s intent with the investment revolves largely around creating new and business models to help grow the Android OEM ecosystem in India. In a statement, Google says, “In the last two years, we have made steady progress on the goals we set to achieve with the Google for India Digitization fund, from building an India-focused Android experience for the country’s new internet users, to partnering with companies that are deeply vested in bringing the richness of the internet to people through localized content experiences.”

Google will make an equity investment of $700 million in Bharti Airtel at a price per share of Rs 734. The stock, already trading sky-high over such expectations of such a deal, rose 1.95% further during initial trading.