Google 'abused' market dominance in some instances: CCI

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jul 22, 2015 13:05 IST

The Competition Commission of India's investigation arm has said Google abused its market dominance in some instances. If the findings are confirmed by the fair-trade watchdog, the search giant may face regulatory battles similar to those its grappling with in Europe.

The CCI is sending the findings of its investigation arm to Google for its response before announcing a final verdict, which could involve a monetary penalty if the findings are upheld, The Economic Times reported.

"The investigations have found Google guilty in one of the cases," a senior unnamed government official told the daily.

The commission had ordered a probe into four allegations of abuse of market dominance against Google.

The fair-trade watchdog, which first received a complaint against Google in 2011, had been examining allegations that the company abused its dominant position in the search engine space for more than three years.

After finding prima facie evidence that Google allegedly violated fair trade norms, the CCI referred the matter to its investigation arm’s director general for a detailed probe.

The director general submitted a report after a nearly three-year investigation.

The case will go forward after Google files its response to the findings. The CCI will then hear both parties — Google and the director general of investigation — and give a ruling.

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

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

Under competition regulations, an entity found violating norms can be slapped with a penalty of up to 10% of its three-year annual average turnover.

The average revenue of Google, one of the world's most valued companies, in the past three years has been about $55.85 billion and 10% of that will translate to nearly $6 billion.

The CCI can also pass a “cease and desist” order and recommend to the Central government that a dominant enterprise should be split up.

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