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India approves Google’s $4.5 billion deal with Reliance’s Jio Platforms


India’s antitrust watchdog has approved Google’s proposed investment of $4.5 billion in the nation’s largest telecom platform Jio Platforms, it said in a tweet on Wednesday.


Google announced in July that it would be investing $4.5 billion for a 7.73% stake in the top Indian telecom network. As part of the deal, Google and Jio Platforms plan to collaborate on developing a customized-version of the Android mobile operating system to build low-cost, entry-level smartphones to serve the next hundreds of millions of users, the two companies said.


Jio Platforms is planning to launch as many as 200 million smartphones in the next three years, according to a pitch the telecom giant has made to several developers. These smartphones, as is the case with nearly 40 million of Jio’s feature phones in circulation today, will have an app store with only a few dozen apps, all vetted and approved by Jio, according to one developer who was pitched by Jio Platforms. An industry executive described Jio’s store as a walled garden.


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