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Google Faces Up To $5 Billion Fine From Competition Commission of India 89

An anonymous reader writes "Google is facing investigation by the Competition Commission of India and potentially faces fines up to 10% of its three-year average turnover. While Google has settled anti-trust cases in the U.S. and the European Union, India's competition regime does not have provisions for settlement process." From the Times of India article linked: "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 also filed a complaint. Referring to Google's settlement with the European Commission, counsel Ferida Satarawala said: 'Google's unfair use of trademarks as well as its retaliatory conduct are not specifically addressed in the European settlement and are distinct theories of harm being pursued by the CCI. Therefore, this settlement is unlikely to address CCI's concerns in our case.'"
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Google Faces Up To $5 Billion Fine From Competition Commission of India

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  • yeah right (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ebubna ( 765457 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:14PM (#46440291)
    I'm a little more inclined to wait and see what the final offer is on this one
    • Re:yeah right (Score:5, Informative)

      by davester666 ( 731373 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @03:08PM (#46440779) Journal

      "India's competition regime does not have provisions for settlement process"

      more like
      "India's competition regime does not have provisions for settlement process written into the law"

      There does seem to be a private method for making agreements between companies and gov't officials that is the accepted practice in India.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Just turn off Google in India, then when the people complain about it being missing, Google can say "If we turn it on, no lawsuits, no penalties of any kind."

        Honestly though, why doesn't the Indian government go after these obvious wallet chasers - all they want is to steal money from Google since they couldn't earn it for themselves.

        They don't deserve to get a penny, and really should do time for the attempted robbery.

        • Haven't gotten any of the scam calls that are from indian call centers requesting you install remote sessions for them to "assess your virus infections" yet have you ? These for some reason are still allowed to run there from the same scum trying to get cash out of google there.

  • Theft (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:20PM (#46440321)

    Seems like theft to me.

    Google has lots of money, let's fine Google.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Seems like theft to me.

      Google has lots of money, let's fine Google.

      You mean, just like all those European banks got fined by the US authorities? Even though most of the violations came from the originally US banks they bought in the past decade, while not a single other US bank got fined for the same violations? Either the European banks miraculously bought up ALL US banks that money launder; or those US branches only start money laundering after being bought by European banks while none of their other countries' branches money launder; or a more reasonable guess?

      Looks l

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It seems like yet another shakedown of a big company by the corrupt Indian gov't. Nothing to see here...

  • Is it me or is Anti-Trust a thing you seem to have once a company reaches a certain size and age?

    • by nurb432 ( 527695 )

      In general that is true. Sometimes its legit, but often times its not and just a tactic to squeeze the companies. Rarely does a true monopoly that is abusing its power get nailed. They have the money and influence to prevent that.

  • by Overzeetop ( 214511 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:42PM (#46440395) Journal

    I read the entire fine article, and I'm still at a loss. What was the specific harm which the Indian government is trying to correct?

    • by Brett Buck ( 811747 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @01:47PM (#46440411)

      The harm that Google has $5 billion that they want.

      • by timothy ( 36799 ) Works for Slashdot

        Reminds me of the courtroom scene in Idiocracy ;)

        JUDGE What're you objectifying on?

        Dizz looks unsure for a moment.

          JOE (whispering to Dizz) C'mon, just put me on the stand!

        DIZZ Okay. Yeah. Okay, your honor?.. I object that this guy also broke my apartment!

        JOE What??

        DIZZ Yeah, your honor! And I object he's not gonna have any money to pay me after he pays for all the money he stole from the hospital.


      • My first thought is that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is behind this. Wouldn't be the first time they've corrupted the Indian government. Anyone remember not that long ago when they were going to allow their indigenous pharmaceutical companies to start manufacturing and selling drugs to their massive population for cost, before Bill swept in with funding to pay for drugs for the upper and middle classes in exchange for leaving the law as it was? It was covered here on Slashdot.

        • I think that governments are perfectly capable of becoming corrupted even without Bill's influence.

          • I think that governments are perfectly capable of becoming corrupted even without Bill's influence.

            You're right, of course.

            Perhaps it was Duck Duck Go who were hoping to fill the void...

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I read the entire fine article, and I'm still at a loss. What was the specific harm which the Indian government is trying to correct?

      Including their site in search listings is an unfair use of trademark.

      Upon receipt of complaint, google removed their site from the search listings.

      Naturally that is an unfair retaliatory response.

      • That's some pretty weak-sauce argument for all out censure.

      • The harm that a large multinational wasn't paying bribe. Have a heart for corrupt officials. There are so many in India it must be hard to commit a good old fashioned shakedown.

    • They failed to pay off the right politicians.
    • by tomhath ( 637240 ) on Sunday March 09, 2014 @02:56PM (#46440733)
      It's not the Indian government. The complaint was filed by an organization called CUTS [], whose mission is:

      Pursuing economic equity and social justice within and across borders by persuading governments and empowering people

      In other words, their goal is wealth transfer from rich to poor countries. Whether Google did anything wrong isn't the point; they're trying to use the Indian government to get some of Google's money.

      • This mission statement translates into 'take from the rich, give to the poor'. Dunno whether to actually believe them, but the statement is guaranteed at least 50% true :)

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I read the entire fine article, and I'm still at a loss. What was the specific harm which the Indian government is trying to correct?

      I have been following this case for a while now. It all started in 2009, when the matrimonial website sued Google in the Chennai High Court of India. The basis for complaint was that searches for "bharat matrimony" (two words) in Google resulted in sponsored ads for two competing websites, and All three are in the same business, of online matchmaking (remember that the Indian society still favours arranged marriages so this line of business is quit

  • by jeff13 ( 255285 )

    Don't worry, all that copyright, trademark,etc. stuff that is such an international headache will be solved with the TPP. Corporations have already sent their bag-men to secure the deal. Men like, oh what's his name, Barry Obama er something.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    This looks like a case of shopping for a favorable legal venue to me:

    The US FTC, along with major competition regulators across the globe, has been investigating a case of abuse of dominance against Google, which shows that Google "search results" give priority to Google sponsored pages or links. For example, if a Google search is done for Bill Gates, the first few results would show theGoogle Plus pages of Bill Gates rather than LinkedIn or Facebook pages of Gates. Facebook and Google Plus are rivals in th

    • > It is difficult to see what specifically Indian interests are at stake here.

      It's the Willie Sutton effect.

    • by mmell ( 832646 )
      The Indian interest of making a few billion dollars.

      Y'know, next they'll be suing the "Big Three" US auto manufacturers for unfairly competing against the Tata, claiming that they incorporate all sorts of desirable stuff that Tata can't afford to put in their cheap little piss-pot cars and that they're being unfairly competitive in the world market by not letting Tata compete in the luxury car area. Sounds anti-competitive to me.

  • Pull out (Score:2, Interesting)

    by nurb432 ( 527695 )

    Google can just pull out, refuse any ads from any company based in India. Its time for Google to start using the power they have.

    Lets see how long it takes for the Indiana government's mind to change.

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Lets see how long it takes for the Indiana government's mind to change.

      Totally man. Screw those Hoosiers!

    • Isn't this what got them in trouble - removing Indian companies who notified Google that they were violating their IP?

      They could switch to opt-in only via robots, and just put a notice in the search indicating that the company has not authorized them to display particular search results, but apparently that's not good enough either : []

    • Lets see how long it takes for the Indiana government's mind to change.

      Best sentence of the day!

    • If google pulled out of india, people would just use something else, and google would permanently loose that market, it's as simple as that.

  • One of the worst spamming sites there is. I've received their junk "newsletters" despite never visited it before.
  • Look at a world geopolitical map weighted by population.

    Now couple what you've just seen with the idea that governments worldwide actively consider taking money from businesses operated in other countries to be even better than taxing successful businesses in their own country.

    Throw in one last thought - the Indian government is answerable to the Indian people. Do you really think they'll be pissed off to hear that they've successfully strongarmed billions out of some foreign entity?

  • Humanity faces a five hundred million billon trillion dollar loss of income due to premature extinction of the species.

  • "The US FTC has told the Indian competition watchdog that Google is using its superior technology to push out competitors from the GPS tracking market."

    So it's superior technology that is the problem ?

    Aren't you supposed to develop technology to compete or has that idea gone in favour of suing the people you can't beat ?
  • I was going to write exactly the same thing as the comment above.

    A bunch of pissants in a country like India that think that they can shake down Google for f-ing $5 BILLION dollars are living in the the 20th century when power was defined by being a country with a flag, a UN seat, an airline, and a president-for-life.

    Things are different now.

    Especially for a country like India, which is run by corrupt IIT graduates who live on delusions of being a super-power with a moon base and don't have a clue about how

  • Should have to experience a 10 year embargo of those services. Same with countries that threaten companies that for instance make patented drugs. Ok you want to kill the golden goose you go right ahead. Live w.o. Google or cancer drugs for 10 years. France tries this shit all the time but at least they admit it's a mugging.

  • The one I mean is the "fucking off position"

    now - GO

  • Ya gotta love all these fucking countries all over the world shaking down American tech companies. All these people should go back to fucking goats for a living and leave the smart stuff up to the smart people...

"If you lived today as if it were your last, you'd buy up a box of rockets and fire them all off, wouldn't you?" -- Garrison Keillor