India antitrust body investigating Google: minister

NEW DELHI Mon Aug 13, 2012 10:23am EDT

A security personnel answers a call at the reception counter of the Google office in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad February 6, 2012. REUTERS/Krishnendu Halder

A security personnel answers a call at the reception counter of the Google office in the southern Indian city of Hyderabad February 6, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Krishnendu Halder

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India's antitrust regulator has launched a probe against Google Inc over alleged anti-competitive practices by the U.S. Internet search giant, following a complaint by a consumer advocacy group, a federal minister said on Monday.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has received information about contravention of an Indian competition rule by Google, R.P.N. Singh, minister of state for corporate affairs, told lawmakers in a written reply to a question, according to a government statement.

The statement did not give further details.

Google spokeswoman Paroma Roy Chowdhury said the company was cooperating with the CCI.

"We're confident that our products are compliant with competition law in India," she said in a statement.

India's newly assertive CCI, a quasi-judicial regulatory body, earlier this year handed record fines of more than a $1 billion to 12 of the country's biggest cement companies and is also investigating anti-competitive practices among carmakers.

(Reporting by Devidutta Tripathy, editing by Jane Baird)

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