updated 12:59 pm EDT, Thu March 27, 2014
Fine assessed for failure to provide documentation in a timely manner
Search engine giant Google has been fined 10 million rupee ($166,000) in India. The penalty has been levied by the nation's antitrust investigative body "for failure to comply with the directions given by the Director General (DG) seeking information and documents." The company is under investigation by India's Competition Commission (CCI), and may face $5 billion in fines for abusing its search engine dominance.
The investigation, already underway for three years, is similar to that in other countries in claiming that the search engine giant is abusing its industry-leading position and inserting Google services over those of competitors illicitly. A Google spokesperson recently commented on the matter in India by saying that the company is "extending full co-operation to the Competition Commission of India in their investigation."
The complaint in India was filed in 2011 by south Pacific-based consumer advocacy group Consumer Unity & Trust Society International, as well as Indian matchmaking website Matrimony.com. Under Indian law, companies found violating antitrust regulations may be forced to disgorge up to 10 percent of their three-year annual revenue average.
The $144,000 fine isn't part of a settlement, but only a punitive measure for not providing adequate documentation as required by the CCI. The CCI has already found preliminary evidence of violations by Google. Should Google be found guilty by the Inspector General, The CCI can assess the up to $5 billion fine, pass other corrective measures addressing the company's conduct, or order a breakup of monopolistic entities into separate businesses in the country.