US online retail giant Amazon is set to team up with Verizon Communications to acquire a USD4 billion stake in cash-strapped Indian mobile operator Vodafone Idea, financial daily Mint reports. Citing two people aware of the negotiations, the news site reports that previous talks between the parties were paused because the outcome of a Supreme Court case on staggered payments of government dues was uncertain and could have threatened the survival of Vodafone Idea. The beleaguered cellco owes the government hundreds of billions of rupees in licence fee, spectrum usage charges, interest and penalties.
While Vodafone Idea has refused to be drawn on the speculation, it has confirmed that its board will meet on 4 September to consider proposals for fundraising. Amazon already has a major presence in India, while Verizon is present in the country through its media and online unit, Oath.