Google’s proposed investment of $4.5 billion in the nation’s biggest telecom platform Reliance’s Jio Platforms has been approved by India’s antitrust watchdog, confirming it in a tweet on Wednesday. Google declared in July that the company will be investing $4.5 billion for a 7.73% stake in Reliance’s Jio platforms. According to the deal, Jio Platforms and Google planned to work together on developing a custom version of the Android mobile operating system to create entry-level, low-cost smartphones in order to provide the next millions of users.
Commission approves acquisition of 7.73% equity share capital of Jio Platforms by Google pic.twitter.com/U247YcYKEc
— CCI (@CCI_India) November 11, 2020
Jio Platforms plans to release as much as 200 million smartphones in the coming three years. These smartphones will have an app store with dozen apps, all approved by Jio, according to one of the developers who was pitched by Jio Platforms. The Competition Commission of India (CCI), was interested in checking and reviewing the data-sharing agreement between Jio and Google. The announcement then came out today after the CCI declared that it had directed an investigation into Google to give verification that the allegations of whether the Android-maker in any way promotes its payments service at the time of installation of an Android smartphone ( or if the vendors of the phone have an option to avoid this ) and if Google Play Store’s billing system is created in a way that puts both apps facilitating payment through UPI, as well as users at disadvantage.
The call for a thorough investigation came up after the CCI stated in its first review that requiring Google pay to be used to make in-app payments or buy apps was an “imposition of unfair and discriminatory condition, denial of market access for competing apps of Google Pay and leveraging on the part of Google,” the watchdog said. Jio Platforms which have more than 400 million users, has raised more than $20 billion this year from 13 high-class investors, including Facebook, which itself invested $5.7 billion into the Indian company.