Apr 22, 2020 - Technology

Facebook invests $5.7 billion in India's largest telecom operator

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Facebook is spending $5.7 billion to become the largest minority shareholder of Indian telecom operator Reliance Jio, the company announced on Tuesday.

Why it matters, via Axios' Ina Fried: Facebook has long sought a way to get more people in India using its services. In the past it has looked to subsidize mobile traffic to its services, a move that drew the ire of net neutrality advocates and other critics.

Details: Facebook is investing in Jio Platforms, the telecom and tech subsidiary of Mumbai-based conglomerate Reliance Industries. The companies plan to pair WhatsApp and JioMart, Jio’s small business initiative, for mobile shopping, Facebook's Chief Revenue Officer David Fischer and Jio's VP Ajit Mohan said in a joint press release.

What they're saying: "India is in the midst of one of the most dynamic social and economic transformations the world has ever seen, driven by the rapid adoption of digital technologies. In just the past five years, more than 560 million people in India have gained access to the internet," Fischer and Mohan said.

Go deeper: Facebook spending $100 million to help news outlets in coronavirus crisis

Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect that Facebook is investing in Jio Platforms (not Jio Systems).

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Biden formally secures Democratic presidential nomination

Joe Biden speaks at Delaware State University's student cente on June 5. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Former Vice President Joe Biden became the formal Democratic presidential nominee on Friday evening, per AP.

The big picture: Biden has been the presumptive frontrunner to take on President Trump since Sen. Bernie Sanders suspended his campaign in early April.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 6,724.516 — Total deaths: 394,018 — Total recoveries — 2,996,832Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 9 p.m. ET: 1,894,753 — Total deaths: 109,042 — Total recoveries: 491,706 — Total tested: 19,231,444Map.
  3. Public health: WHCA president says White House violated social-distancing guidelines to make reporters "a prop" — Jailing practices contribute to spread.
  4. Sports: How coronavirus could reshuffle the sports calendar.
  5. Jobs: Better-than-expected jobs report boosts stock market.
  6. Media: The Athletic lays off 8% of staff, implements company-wide pay cut.

Scoop: German foreign minister to travel to Israel with warning on annexation

Heiko Maas. Photo: Michael Kappeler/picture alliance via Getty Images

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas is expected to travel to Israel next week to warn that there will be consequences if Israeli leaders move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, Israeli officials and European diplomats tell me.

Why it matters: Israeli and European officials agree that if Israel goes ahead with unilateral annexation, the EU will respond with sanctions.