Govt. denies reports of imposition of penalty on Google

NEW DELHI: The Government today clarified that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has not imposed any penalty on Google Inc. for allegedly failing to provide information in a probe into its alleged unfair trade practices in India.


It said that media reports on the order of the Commission being stayed by the Delhi High Court are erroneous, since no such penalty (reported by the media as Rs one crore) had been imposed.


The Corporate Affairs Ministry said the Writ Petition No. 7084 of 2014 was filed by Google Inc. with respect to the case No. 06 of 2014 in which CCI has not imposed any penalty and therefore there is no question of stay of penalty.


The case related to issue of confidentiality and an order was passed by the Court after hearing the Counsels of the parties.


Meanwhile, the Court last week restrained the CCI from disclosing any information, considered as confidential by Google Inc, during its probe into a complaint lodged by an entrepreneur who also runs a website.


Justice Vibhu Bakhru in his order also issued notice to CCI and sought its response within four weeks on the plea of Google Inc.


"In the meantime, it is clarified that any information if submitted to CCI as well as to the Director General by the petitioner Google Inc, which the petitioner considers to be confidential, shall not be disclosed to any party and shall be kept strictly confidential," the court said, and fixed the plea for hearing on 9 March 2015.


Google said that it had challenged the jurisdiction of the CCI in its appeal relating to a complaint filed by entrepreneur Vishal Gupta before the panel.


"The CCI lacks the territorial jurisdiction" and therefore was wrong to order a probe against Google Inc, it said.


Google also said that its action to terminate AdWords account, meant to promote its Remote Tech Support services, of Vishal Gupta/Audney Inc has "no impact on competition in India" and it has "legitimately" been suspended.


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