Indian fair trade watchdog slaps $5B fine on Google

Days after wrapping up a settlement with the E.U., the search engine giant could face a hefty fine if found guilty of violating Indian laws.
By Ananth Baliga  |  March 10, 2014 at 10:34 AM
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NEW DELHI, March 10 (UPI) -- Google faces a $5 billion fine in India if it is found to have violated competition laws of the country, just days after settling a similar case with the E.U.

The Mountain View, Calif., company has been the center of an antitrust investigation for the last two years, to see if it was unfairly using its dominant position in the internet search engine segment. Under the Competition Commission of India's regulations, a company found guilty of violating the rules can face a fine up to 10 percent of a company's global revenue.

"We are extending full co-operation to the Competition Commission of India in their investigation," said a Google spokesperson.

Unlike with similar antitrust cases in the U.S. and E.U., India's antitrust laws do not allow for a settlement. Neither can a case be withdrawn after a complaint is made.

The CCI's investigative arm, the Director General, has been investigating Google after a complaint was filed in 2011 by the Consumer Unity and Trust Society, followed by a similar complaint by a wedding website. The Director General has collected comments from third parties and is likely to submit its report to the CCI soon.

This development follows a settlement reached by Google and the E.U. in a similar antitrust case and a U.S. Federal Trade Commission investigation that led to no charges being filed.

"We're pleased that the conclusion of the Federal Trade Commission's two year review was that Google's services are good for users and good for competition," said the Google spokesperson in a statement.

[ZDNet] [The Economic Times]

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