Google faces fresh probe for allegedly abusing online ad space

CCI has ordered a new probe against Google over online search advertising data.

By Silky Malhotra Published Date
14 - May - 2014
| Last Updated
14 - May - 2014
Google faces fresh probe for allegedly abusing online ad space

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered a fresh probe against the Internet Search giant, Google, on alleged abuse of its dominant position in the online search advertising space.

The latest order came on a complaint by one Vishal Gupta against Google Inc, Google India and Google Ireland claiming that Google Adwords accounts are extremely “opaque and not transparent." Gupta and his family, who manage Shyam Garment Group of Companies, stated that his firm as well as several remote tech companies, had been suspended from the Adwords programme to promote Google's own activities in a discriminatory and unfair manner.

Earlier Google had faced complaints from advocacy group CUTS International, alleging anti-competitive and discriminatory practices in India in 2012., a matrimonial website also filed a complaint and a fine of Rs 1 crore was imposed by CCI on Google for its failure to comply with the directions given by its Director General seeking information and documents in both these cases.

CCI said that “Google’s practices prima facie stem, to a large degree, from its undisputable dominance in the online search market. Therefore, Google’s practices towards Adwords customers such as the RTS (remote technology support) firms in this case, need to be investigated.”

Google is facing a hefty anti-trust fine of $5 billion in India. However the internet giant has offered its full co-operation to the antitrust body Competition Commission of India (CCI) in its investigation. CCI has referred to DG for a detailed investigation against the internet giant and the DG is expected to file a report soon, which will also include comments from third parties.

Google had earlier faced anti-trust issues in Europe and US as well. The company faced a two-year review by a US anti-trust watch dog which later settled in the internet giant's favor. Unlike US and Europe, the Indian competition does not allow settlement and complaint once filed with the CCI can't be withdrawn.

Source: Indian Express