India antitrust body investigating Google: report

Google is now being investigated by the U.S., the Europeans, but also India antitrust authorities as the search giant starts to feel pressure in one of its largest markets.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor

India's antitrust authority is investigating Google over alleged anti-competitive practices, a federal minister said on Monday.

The probe began after an Indian consumer group complained to the Competition Commission of India (CCI) over the alleged breaking of Indian competition rules, said R.P.N. Singh, India's minister for corporate affairs told state lawmakers. 

Details of the allegations were not released, however. 

Google told Reuters in a statement: "We're confident that our products are compliant with competition law in India." ZDNet put in questions to Google's U.K. office but has yet to hear back.

India is now one of many authorities looking into Google's business practices, including the U.S. and the European authorities. 

According to a recent 10-Q filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the search giant said it was under investigation by Argentinian authorities, South Korea's trade commission, and also India's competition commission.

U.S. government figures in 2009, the country had 61.3 million Internet connected users in the country, but has seen rapid growth in infrastructure and investment since the start of the decade. 

The Wall Street Journal last year, Google said it expects its user base to reach 300 million online users in the country by 2014, up from close to 100 million as of 2011.

India's population stands at around 1.24 billion in 2011, according to figures estimated by the World Bank.

The CCI can issue a maximum fine of up to 10 percent of the company's turnover or three-times its net profit, resonant of many other countries' anti-competitive penalty sanctions. 

The regulator, which was set up in 2003, imposed a record US$1.1 billion fine against 11 international and local cement manufacturers in earlier this year following price fixing 'cartel' behavior.

via Reuters.

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