Google is reportedly facing a $5 billion fine from the Competition Commission of India in relation to an antitrust probe launched two years ago.
The probe began after a complaint from consumer advocacy group Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) International about alleged anti-competitive practices. The complaint was followed by another from matrimony.com
Google could be forced to pay the fine if it's found that it is in violation. The Times of India reports:
Under competition regulations, an entity found violating the norms could be slapped with penalty of up to 10% 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 and the maximum penalty can be up to nearly $5 billion. When asked about the ongoing probe and the potential penalty of up to five billion dollars, a Google spokesperson told : "We are extending full co-operation to the Competition Commission of India in their investigation." "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," he said in an e-mailed statement.
Google recently reached a settlement with the EU over a lengthy antitrust investigation, which if ultimately approved, will see the company avoiding a big fine in Europe. Google recently made its agreement available for public viewing, and we're still still waiting to hear what its critics think about it.
According to the Times of India, the CCI doesn't have provisions for a settlement process, so it will be very interesting to see what happens.
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