New Delhi | Agencies: Tech giant Google has said that it is taking a minority taking in telecom group Vodafone-Idea. According to a report published in Financial Times, Alphabet Inc's Google is looking to buy about 5 per cent stake in Vodafone Idea Ltd.

"One of the people said Google was considering buying a stake of about 5 per cent in Vodafone Idea, a partnership between the UK telecom company and India's Aditya Birla Group that has been under severe financial strain. Another said the process was at a very early stage," the report claimed.

Both the companies refused to comment.

According to the report, Google's parent company Alphabet was also in the race to acquire a slice of Jio Platforms but lagged behind.

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The move assumes significance as Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) is staring at nearly Rs 58,000 crore in unpaid statutory dues. 

These dues arose after the Supreme Court, in October last year, upheld the government's position on including revenue from non-core businesses in calculating the annual AGR (Adjusted Gross Revenue) of telecom companies, a share of which is paid as license and spectrum fee to the exchequer.

The company is under severe financial pressure and analysts have cautioned that the company's long term viability remains under cloud.

The move by Google follows Facebook and other private equity investors that poured in USD 10 billion in Jio platforms.  

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Last month, Facebook agreed to invest USD 5.7 billion for a 9.99 per cent stake in Reliance Jio which competes with Vodafone_idea and Bharti Airtel Ltd in the country's fiercely competitive telecom market. Jio Platforms has an equity value of Rs 4.91 lakh crore and an enterprise value of Rs 5.16 lakh crore.

(with agency inputs)

Posted By: James Kuanal