Google faces Rs 30,500-cr fine in India

Google faces Rs 30,500-cr fine in India

Google faces Rs 30,500-cr fine in India

Google, which is facing anti-trust investigation in India by fair trade watchdog Competition Commission of India (CCI), can face a penalty of up to about $5 billion (Rs 30,500 crore) if it is found to have violated competition norms of the country.

Google said it is “extending full cooperation” to the CCI in its investigation. The conclusion of a two-year review by the US antitrust watchdog has concluded that the company's services were good for competition, it added. The case has been before the CCI for over two years now, and it relates to allegations that Google is abusing its dominant position.

Under competition regulations, an entity found violating the norms could be slapped with penalty of up to 10 per cent of its three-year annual average turnover. In the case of Google, its annual revenues in the last three years amounts to a staggering $49.3 billion (Rs 3.01 lakh crore), and the maximum penalty can be up to nearly $5 billion.

When asked about the ongoing probe and the potential penalty, a Google spokesperson said: “We are extending full co-operation to the Competition Commission of India in their investigation.”

The emailed statement added: “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.”

A complaint filed with the CCI cannot be withdrawn.

The complaint against Google, also one of the world's most valued company, was first filed by advocacy group CUTS International way back in late 2011. Later. Matrimonial website Private Ltd also filed a complaint.

Last year, CCI chairman Ashok Chawla had said the complaint was that the Google search engine favours platforms it wants to support.

“That is, when you click on Google under a certain category, you will get the platforms where there is a tendency to put them in a certain order which may not be the fair and non-discriminatory. So, what is the software and what is the algorithmic search, (that is) what the investigation team is looking at,” Chawla had said.