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Amazon, Verizon may invest over $4 billion in India’s Vodafone Idea: Report

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BENGALURU: U.S. wireless carrier Verizon Communications Inc and Amazon.com Inc may invest more than $4 billion for a stake in India’s Vodafone Idea Ltd , the Mint newspaper reported on Thursday, sending shares in the struggling Indian telecom firm up 10%.

Vodafone Idea’s stake-sale talks had been paused pending the outcome of a court hearing in India, which created uncertainty and could have threatened Vodafone Idea’s survival, Mint reported, citing two unnamed people aware of the negotiations.

But Amazon and Verizon are set to resume discussions following a Supreme Court ruling on Tuesday which gave mobile carriers 10 years to settle government dues.

Vodafone Idea did not immediately respond to Reuters request for comment. Amazon and Verizon did not return emails seeking comment outside regular U.S. business hours.

Heavily indebted Vodafone Idea – a joint venture between Britain’s Vodafone Group Plc and India’s Idea Cellular – had previously said its ability to continue as a going concern rested on a positive outcome of the hearing.

It has paid the Indian government 78.5 billion rupees ($1.1 billion) in telecoms dues, according to regulatory filings, but still owes roughly 500 billion rupees ($6.8 billion) more.

Shares in Vodafone Idea, which ended 13% lower after Tuesday’s court ruling, were up 8% at 10.70 rupees on the NSE index by 0405 GMT.

($1 = 73.1900 Indian rupees)

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