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Breaking order: CCI takes pity on 'procrastinating' Google and only smacks it once for Rs 1 crore

The Competition Commission of India order fining Google Rs 1 crore for not cooperating with its anti-trust investigation has just been published by the CCI.

The CCI wrote that it only fined Google for one instance of non-cooperation, although they were more, and if Google did not improve its game, it would be fined again:

The Commission, however, taking into consideration the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case, and, in particular, considering the fact that the opposite parties have submitted some of the informations/ documents as sought for by the DG, is of opinion that ends of justice would be met if the maximum fine envisaged under the provisions of section 43 of the Act is imposed upon the opposite parties by taking only one instance of non- compliance. It is, however, made clear that if the opposite parties further fail to comply with the directions of the DG in future, each instance of non-compliance shall be taken separately besides considering the same as aggravating factor for the purposes of imposition of fine.

Advocates Ravi Sekhar Nair and Sameer Gandhi acted for Google Inc and Google India, according to the order.

The order listed several instances of Google not furnishing agreements or other information sought by the CCI to its satisfaction.

Accordingly, they were granted time till 11.12.2013. On 11.12.2013, the opposite parties met the DG and expressed that they were pre-occupied to prepare for the deposition of the opposite parties scheduled on 16-18 December, 2013 and they would furnish the same after recording of statement. Again, notice vide e-mail dated 21.12.2013 was issued by the DG advising the opposite parties to submit requisite information by 26.12.2013. No information was furnished by the opposite parties till the time the proposal for initiation of penalty proceeding was mooted by the DG vide its note dated 15.01.2014...

The opposite parties vide letter dated 11.12.2013 submitted certain information to the Office of the DG but did not furnish internal documents as sought, within the given timeframe. Nor did they seek any extension of time for compliance...

Google vide letters dated 06.12.2013 and 11.12.2013 furnished Adword account statement but did not furnish any relevant data related to invalid clicks and internal documents related to the decision for such shut down...

The Commission is constrained to note that despite liberal indulgence shown by the DG to the opposite parties, the opposite parties engaged in dilatory tactics in order to procrastinate and prolong the investigations without any justifiable reason.

CCI Google Fine - Order

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