The competition watchdog of India, CCI, has ordered investigation against Google's online advertising business, AdWords, after the authority found "prima facie evidence" that the search giant abused its market position by being discriminatory in allocating keywords. According to reports, the Competition Commission of India will primarily focus on Google's AdWords services; however Google's other services may come under scanner as well.
"We have asked the Director General (Investigations) to complete the probe and give a report on it within 60 days. Prima facie, we found evidence that suggests that Google did abuse its dominant market position," a senior official tells PTI.
It's learnt that matrimonial site BharatMatrimony had sued Google, accusing the latter of engaging in discriminatory and retaliatory practices relating to AdWords. BharatMatrimony sought CCI's interference in the matter.
In February, Consim Info. Pvt.Ltd., which also owns and runs services such as match-making Web site BharatMatrimony, had filed a complaint against Google alleging that the search engine giant has abused its dominance by engaging in discriminatory and retaliatory practices relating to AdWords. The company also said in its complaint that the rising number of competition cases against Google suggests “a pattern of anti-competitive conduct”, which needs to be probed to protest interests of the Indian businesses and consumers.
Meanwhile, Google has declined to comment on the issue.
The AdWords programme is one of the major sources of revenues for the search engine giant. Under the programme, Google sells keywords to advertisers and then displays them on the search engine result pages in the form of short ads.
CCI's probe comes at a time when Google is already facing multiple lawsuits over objectionable content issue.
Source: The Hindu