Facebook in talks to acquire stake in top Indian telecom Reliance Jio

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Reliance Jio Infocomm Limited, a three-and-a-half-year-old subsidiary of India’s most valued firm Reliance Industries, may have attracted the attention of an American giant Facebook.

The social group is in talks to acquire a 10% stake in the Indian telecom operator, the Financial Times reported Tuesday. The size of the deal, the paper said, was in “multi-billion dollars.”

Reliance Jio, which began its commercial operation in the second half of 2016, upended the local telecom market by offering the bulk of 4G data and free voice calls for six months.

The telco kickstarted a price war that saw local network providers Vodafone and Airtel quickly move to revise their data plans and mobile tariffs. But they struggled to match the offerings of Jio, which has amassed over 370 million subscribers to become the top telecom operator in the country.

RJio had a subscriber market share of 32.1 percent and a revenue market share of 35.4 percent in December 2019 as per previous reports.

Facebook, which is currently facing competition in India from ByteDance’s TikTok has recently invested in multiple local startups including social commerce platform Meesho and ed-tech start-up Unacademy.

Facebook and Jio have declined to comment on the matter according to the FT report.