Bharti Airtel announced a partnership with Google earlier this week, with the latter investing a billion dollars in the telecom giant. A day after the announcement, Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal has clarified that there is no conflict of interest in the Google deal.
“As far as Google’s conflict of interest is concerned, we partner with many companies, just as Google is a partner in many companies,” the Airtel CEO told analysts. Reported by economic times
“…we will continue to work for multiple players across all sectors, whether it is working across devices, ecommerce players, device makers. Similarly, on the cloud, we work on multiple hyperscalers, we are all hyper Creating data centers for scalers,” he said.
Further, the Airtel CEO clarified that Airtel’s agreement with Google includes making handsets more affordable and there was no exclusivity element in the deal with device makers.
It is worth noting that the Airtel CEO’s remarks came in the light of the fact that Google also invested $4.5 billion in rival Reliance Jio in 2020. As a part of the agreement, Google had acquired a 7.73% stake in the company. The two companies had also collaborated on several other things including jointly developing smartphones – JioPhone Next – and a customized version of Android OS for JioPhones.
Additionally, Vittal clarified that Airtel was not planning to manufacture handsets unlike Jio. Instead, it planned to make handsets through ‘affordable through lending programs targeting feature phone customers’. “We have no plans to build our own devices, but intend to partner across the ecosystem … to further accelerate the adoption of smart phones from feature phones,” Vittal told analysts.
Notably, as a part of the deal, Google will acquire a 1.28% stake in the Indian telecom giant for an amount of $700 million. The remaining $300 million will be focused on multi-year agreements over the next five years. The two companies will also collaborate on creating an India-specific use case for 5G technology.
No Conflict Of Interest In Post Google Deal, Says Airtel CEO First Appeared On BGR India.