India Slaps Google With $21M Abuse Of Dominance Fine

Google Google CCI CCI Google India CCI Google fined in India Google anti-trust India Google fined Google fine 136 crore

Google Google CCI CCI Google India CCI Google fined in India Google anti-trust India Google fined Google fine 136 crore

The fine is the end result of a probe that began in 2012, spurred by complaints filed by matchmaking service Bharat Matrimony and the non-profit Consumer Unity and Trust Society.

In June 2017, the European Union fined Google parent Alphabet a record $2.9 billion antitrust fine against the company for allegedly abusing the power of its dominant search engine.

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"Google was leveraging its dominance in the market for online general web search, to strengthen its position in the market for online syndicate search services", the CCI said, as quoted by Reuters. The CCI further found Google's advertising agreements, which prevented publishers from using the search services of competing search engines, to be unfair.

The order said the company had 60 days to pay the fine for "for infringing anti-trust conduct".

The hefty fee was calculated as five percent of the average annual revenue generated by Google's Indan operations.

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This, the CCI said, was in contravention of Section 4 (2)(a)(i) of India's 2002 Competition Act.

A Google spokesperson told TOI, "We have always focused on innovating to support the evolving needs of our users. We are reviewing the narrow concerns identified by the Commission and will assess our next steps", the spokesperson said in a statement. "Google's strategy for its comparison- shopping service wasn't just about attracting customers by making its product better than those of its rivals", Margrethe Vestager, the EU's antitrust chief, had said. The body stated that this could have a negative effect on the economic welfare and economic growth, especially in countries relying on high growth such as India.

The regulator also noted that product design is an important and integral dimension of competition and any undue intervention in designs of SERP (Search Engine Results Page) may affect legitimate product improvements resulting in consumer harm.

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