India’s antitrust watchdog is reviewing Facebook’s $5.7B deal with Reliance Jio Platforms


Facebook’s  $5.7 billion investment in India’s Reliance Jio Platforms that could help the American social media juggernaut make inroads into tens of millions of shops in the country is being reviewed by the local antitrust watchdog.

The Competition Commission of India said on Wednesday that it is reviewing Facebook’s multi-billion dollar investment in Reliance Jio  Platforms for a 9.9% stake in the top Indian telecom operator.

Bloomberg first reported about the antitrust review, citing CCI chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta. The Indian watchdog declined to elaborate the aspects of its examination, but told the outlet that it assesses every deal that could misuse users’ data and may consider amending the current rules for some mergers and acquisitions in the country.

A Facebook spokesperson in India did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a recent filing, Facebook said the proposed transaction and commercial agreement with Reliance Jio Platforms, which has amassed over 388 million subscribers, are “pro-competitive, benefits consumers, kirana stores (neighborhood stores) and other small and micro local Indian businesses, and take forward the vision of digital India.”

Analysts have said that Facebook’s proposed investment in Reliance Jio Platforms, its biggest investment in recent years, could help the social media giant expand its reach in India, which is already its biggest market by users count.

Facebook’s eponymous service reaches about 350 million users in India, while its messaging service WhatsApp has amassed over 400 million users. WhatsApp is by far the most popular service in the world’s second largest market.


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