The Indian government is investigating whether local Google and Yahoo branches violated the country’s foreign exchange (“forex”) laws. The Press Trust of India reported that Google may have breached a forex law while transferring money to Ireland and other foreign nations, and transferring investments from abroad.
The investigation is a continuation of a longstanding series of conflicts between web companies and Indian law. Last year, India enacted legislation deeming companies responsible for content posted on their websites, requiring content removal within 36 hours of a complaint.Google and Yahoo join 21 social networking websites, including Facebook, who have been brought to court in New Delhi for what the complainants call “objectionable content” on their websites. The content is deemed offensive to Hindus, Muslims, and/or Christians. Following complaint by an individual using the site, Google told one of the two Indian courts that it has removed some of the controversial content in compliance with the court order.
An official at the country’s finance ministry, which monitors forex transactions and money laundering activities, says that notices have been sent to the local units. A Google in India spokesperson said that the company has not yet received the notice. The spokesman told MarketWatch that, although he couldn’t comment on specific details, Google meets its obligation to shareholders, and makes “a very substantial contribution to local and national taxation and provide employment for close to 2,000 people in India.”