The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the acquisition of 9.99 percent stake in Jio Platforms by Facebook's Jaadhu Holdings LLC. The approval comes months after the deal got public in April. It recently came under an antitrust review by the regulator. As per the terms of the deal announced by Reliance Industries, the parent company of Jio Platforms, Facebook would invest Rs. 43,574 crores in Jio. Both companies also partnered for Reliance's e-commerce marketplace JioMart that is aimed to take on Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart in the country.
On Wednesday, the official Twitter account of the CCI revealed the approval of the Jio Platforms acquisition by Facebook's Jaadhu Holdings. The deal came under the antitrust review last week — nearly two months after it became public on April 22.
The CCI Chairman Ashok Kumar Gupta told Bloomberg in an interview that the regulator looks to prevent misuse of data in all the deals it assesses. He, however, didn't provide any timeline for the decision.
Neither Reliance Industries nor Facebook revealed involvement of Jaadhu Holdings at the time of publicly announcing the acquisition in April. However, a notice order at the CCI divulged that it is a newly incorporated company, wholly owned by Facebook, formed in March this year “under the laws of the State of Delaware, United States”. The subsidiary was touted to not engage “in any business in India or anywhere in the world” prior to the Jio deal. The notice also emphasised that the proposed transaction between Jio and Facebook “does not alter the competitive landscape in any potential relevant market”.
In less than two months, Jio has raised Rs. 1,15,693.95 crores by selling its total 24.70 percent stake to global companies including Silver Lake Partners, Vista Equity Partners, General Atlantic, KKR, Mubadala, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, TPG, and L Catterton. This also comprises the acquisition made by Facebook's Jaadhu and the recent 2.3 percent stake being acquired by Saudi Arabia's sovereign wealth fund Public Investment Fund (PIF) at Rs. 11,367 crores just last week.
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