Facebook buys 9.9% of Reliance Jio stakes

Facebook has bought  9.9% of Indian telecommunications company Reliance Jio’s stakes for US$5.7 billion, allowing Facebook a firm foothold in India’s fast-growing telecom market while helping Reliance reduce its debt burden. Reliance Jio is the biggest telecom operator in the country with more than 370 million subscribers.

The deal is reportedly the largest foreign direct investment (FDI) in the technology sector in India. Apart from this investment, Jio Platforms, Reliance Retail, and Facebook’s WhatsApp have also entered a commercial agreement to further accelerate Jio’s e-commerce business with Whatsapp in Reliance’s JioMart platform.

The deal will need to be cleared by the country’s antitrust body, Competition Commission of India (CCI), which will assess if the partnership will adversely impact the national telecom and retail market.