Facebook is reportedly in talks acquire a 10 percent stake in India’s largest mobile telecom operator, Reliance Jio. With Jio recently being valued at $60 billion by New York-based market insight firm, Bernstein, the size of the deal would be in “multi-billion dollars”. That’s according to sources quoted by Financial Times, which claimed that the two companies are very close to an agreement and a deal was expected to be announced by the end of this month, but talks are currently suspended because of the coronavirus crisis.
The report further claims that Reliance has also been talking to Google separately, although, it is not entirely clear if those discussions are about a stake sale or if the two companies are looking to work together in some way or another. The carrier already uses Microsoft’s Azure cloud-computing platform to offer some of its services in India, so it will be interesting to see if it is looking to hedge its bets by signing up a second cloud service provider in Google.
While neither Jio nor Facebook has made an official comment on the report, such a deal will surely raise the hackles of security experts and digital privacy activists in the country, given all the scandals the social media company has gone through over the years.