Indian government accuses Google of unfair and uncompetitive practices
The Competition Commission of India has accused Google of allegedly rigging search results for the benefit of its own brands and those of sponsoring businesses.
According to the Economic Times, the business watchdog began its investigation of Google following complaints from companies like Facebook, Microsoft and Indian online retailer Flipkart.
The US-based multinational is required to file a response to CCI by September 10. If found guilty, Google could be charged up to 10 percent of its net revenue — which last year was $14.4 billion.
It’s not the first time Google has been subject to such criticisms, with the European Commission currently deliberating on an a five-year case against the company, accused by the EC of allegedly altering its search results to favour its own first-party services like Google Shopping, Maps and Hotels.
The CCI shares that same concern, adding to it Google’s use of sponsored links, which will appear above more relevant links atop the search results page.
A spokesperson for Google said that the company was “currently reviewing this report from the CCI’s ongoing investigation.”
“We continue to work closely with the CCI and remain confident that we comply fully with India’s competition laws. Regulators and courts around the world, including the US, Germany, Taiwan, Egypt and Brazil, have looked into and found no concerns on many of the issues raised in this report.”
It comes at a time when the European Union is deliberating its antitrust case against Google, which was first launched back in 2010 through the European Commission.
These same issues were previously brought up in the US, whose Federal Trade Commission ended its investigation in 2013 after Google agreed to make changes to its practices.