The investigation arm of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has accused Google of abusing its market dominance in some cases. Although the CCI is yet to confirm its findings, if positive, Google could face similar regulatory concerns as it is facing in some European countries. The CCI is a watch-dog for ensuring fair trade amongst companies in India.
According to reports, the findings will now be sent to the Google for response, before the CCI announces its final verdict. Based on the results, it could levy financial penalties on Google. “The investigations have found Google guilty in one of the cases,” a senior unnamed government official told The Economic Times.
Further, reports say that the CCI first got complaints against Google in 2011 and ha been investigating the issue since then. The Commission reportedly found prima facie evidence against Google and then referred the matter to its investigation arm for a more in depth probe. The investigation arm has now finished its probe and found Google guilty. The Director General of the investigation arm of the CCI has filed a report after an almost three-year-long investigation.
The CCI will wait for Google to respond to the allegations and then take both parties’ into consideration before coming out with a ruling. While the main allegations are that Google favours its own products in search results, it has also been accused of discrimination through paid searches. There are also charges of denial of access to content and discriminatory and unfair conditions levied on AdWords customers.
The CCI’s norms say that Google can be faced with a penalty of up to 10% of its three-year annual average turnover. This for one of the world’s biggest companies would be a big number, translating to something near $6 billion. A ‘cease and desist’ order can also be issued against Google.