The Chariman of the Competition Commission of India (CCI), Ashok Chawla said that the Google probe report is only the "beginning." The investigation arm of the CCI has submitted its report on Google’s alleged anti-competitive practices. The regulator is now waiting for concerned parties to respond to it.
At an interaction with journalists at the Indian Women Press Corps., CCI chairman Ashok Chawla said, “The case has been going on for sometime. The investigator (Director General) has given the report.” The director general report is believed to contain comments and inputs from a number of online entities which include well-known e-commerce firms and web portals.
If found guilty, the CCI can impose a penalty of up to 10% of the company’s three-year annual average turnover. The CCI is investigating Google after complaints were made by over 30 companies. These included Bharat Matrimony, Flipkart, Facebook, MakeMyTrip, as well as Nokia’s maps division. According to an earlier report submitted by CCI, Google is accused of displaying its own content and services more prominently as compared to other sources. It also said that Google had failed to cooperate with the Director General and didn’t provide the required information.
The CCI had first received complaints against Google in 2011 and has been looking into those allegations since. Earlier this month, Google had said that the company was reviewing the CCI’s investigation report. It was working with the CCI and is confident that it complies with indian laws. It also added that other countries like the US, Egypt, etc haven’t shown any worries regarding the issues CCI talked about in its report. Google also asked CCI to maintain confidentiality over the issue and not leak findings to third-parties. It also denied any kind of delay and said that it cooperated with the DG by providing all the information required.
Back in March 2014, Google was fined Rs 1 crore by the CCI. The reason behind the fine was that Google wasn’t cooperating in an ongoing anti-trust case. The company had expressed its disappointment in the developments and stated, “While we are confident that our products are compliant with Competition laws in India, we continue to cooperate fully with the CCI's extensive and ongoing investigation.”