Google has allegedly been creating an uneven field by favoring its own services and partners by manipulating its search results to benefit them. In a 190-page order, the CCI has stated
On February 8, the country’s antitrust regulator, the Competition Commission Of India (CCI) fined Google a sum of Rs.136 crores as a penalty for “infringing anti-trust conduct”. CCI passed the verdict, acting upon complaints that had been filed by Matrimony.com and Consumer Unit & Trust Society (CUTS) in 2012, wherein these entities had accused the company of abusing its dominant position in the market by manipulating search results.
Big Blow for Google
Google has allegedly been creating an uneven field by favoring its own services and partners by manipulating its search results to benefit them. In a 190-page order, the CCI has stated, “Google was found to be indulging in practices of search bias and by doing so; it causes harm to its competitors as well as users”.
This is one of the most recent of the regulatory setbacks faced by the search giant. Last year, the European Union’s antitrust arm had imposed a fine of $2.7 billion on the company, for promoting its own products over others. The California-based company also went for an out-of-court settlement for an antitrust matter in Russia.
The CCI probe into Google had started as early as 2012, but gained momentum in 2015, after the Director General submitted the probe report based on inputs and complaints from several other companies like Flipkart, Facebook and MakeMyTrip.
The fine amount has been decided based on a calculation of 5% penalty on the average revenue generated by the company in India for three consecutive years to FY15. Google has 60 days to deposit this amount. A maximum of 10% penalty could be imposed under this Act.
A company spokesperson remarked that Google was reviewing the “narrow concerns” identified by the Commission and assessing the steps it will take.