Competition Commission’s investigation arm has submitted its final report on alleged unfair business ways of internet major Google in India

Deccan Herald, April 23, 2015

The fair trade watchdog, which first received a complaint against Google back in 2011, has been looking into allegations that the company abused its dominant position in the search engine space for well over three years.

After finding prima-facie evidence that Google violated fair trade norms, Competition Commission of India (CCI) had referred the matter to its investigation arm — Director General — for a detailed probe.

The Commission recently received the probe report on Google case and would soon be looking into it, sources said.

DG has submitted its report after nearly a three-year-long investigation.

The concerned parties would be given an opportunity to present their views and hearings on the report are likely to be completed by end of May, sources said.

When contacted, a Google spokesperson said it does not comment on rumours and speculation.

“We’re confident that we comply fully with India’s competition laws, and we continue to work closely with the CCI in this ongoing investigation,” the spokesperson said in an e-mailed statement.

The main allegations against Google are that it favours its own products in search results and resorts to discrimination by favouring paid searches.

Other allegations include denial of access to content and imposing of unfair and discriminatory conditions on ‘AdWords’ customers.

Under competition regulations, an entity found violating the norms could be slapped with penalty of up to 10 per cent of its three-year annual average turnover.

The average revenue of Google, which is one of the world’s most valued companies, in the last three years is about USD 55.85 billion and ten per cent of that would translate to nearly USD 6 billion.

In its annual report for the year ended December 2014, Google had mentioned about anti-trust investigations in India and some other jurisdictions.

“The Comision Nacional de Defensa de la Competencia in Argentina, the Competition Commission of India, the Taiwan Fair Trade Commission, Brazil’s Council for Economic Defense and the Canadian Competition Bureau have also opened investigations into certain of our business practices,” the report, released earlier this year, had said.

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