CCI approves Facebook's 9.99 pc stake in Jio Platforms
The Competition Commission on Wednesday said it has cleared Facebook's proposed acquisition of 9.99 percent stake in Jio Platforms, the digital arm of Reliance Industries.
The $5.7 billion (Rs 43,574 crore) deal — the single largest FDI in the technology sector in India — was announced in April. The US social-networking major had set up a separate entity — Jaadhu Holdings LLC — for making the investment.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved "acquisition of 9.99 percent stake in Jio Platforms by Jaadhu Holdings LLC", according to a tweet.
Jio Platforms was created in October last year to house all-digital initiative of Reliance.
The deal would bring together JioMart, the ecommerce venture of Asia's richest man Mukesh Ambani, and Facebook's WhatsApp platform to connect consumers with neighbourhood kirana stores.
The Facebook investment comes six months after Jio's parent company Reliance Industries rejigged its group structure to make the telecom entity net debt-free, also paving the way for a stake sale. After Facebook's investment, Jio Platforms raised Rs 1.15 lakh crore from private equity funds and sovereign wealth funds including Silver Lake Partners, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, and Mubadala, among others.
WhatsApp has over 400 million users in India, while Jio has more than 388 million phone subscribers. Facebook has about 250 million users in India.
Deals beyond a certain threshold require approval of the CCI, which seeks to prevent unfair business practices and promoter fair competition in the market place.
Earlier in July 2019, Facebook had partnered with Reliance Jio for a digital literacy drive called 'Digital Udaan'. It was targeted at tens of millions of JioPhone users in India, who were new to the internet. The joint initiative reached 200 locations across 13 Indian states and introduced vernacular users to the joys of mobile connectivity.
(Disclaimer: Additional background information has been added to this PTI copy for context)