These days, when you think of Google and antitrust battles, we think of the search engine’s battle with the European Union. But surprisingly, there is another ongoing investigation going on in India that hasn’t gotten nearly the same amount of coverage the European antitrust investigation. There was an article that has appeared in the India-based Economic Times that says that a legal environment in the country is taking place, and is no less challenging for Mountain View.
In the article, it says,
“Flipkart, Facebook, Nokia’s maps division, MakeMy-Trip.com and several other companies have corroborated complaints that US Internet giant Google abused its dominant market position, in their response to queries raised by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).”
This particular investigation first started back in early 2014, and focuses on two particular areas:
- Whether Google abused its position in promoting vertical results (similar to the case in Europe)
- Unfair competition in the administration of AdWords.
Apparently, in the report, The Indian government argues that Google violated their competition laws, and Google has until September 10 to formally file a response as well as appear in person before the commission.
The Indian Parliamentary Competition Act of 2002 was established by the CCI and seeks to protect competition in the Indian market by prohibiting anti-competitive mergers, abuse of dominant market position and anti-competitive contracts.
In this case, it seems Google isn’t able to settle the alleged antitrust claims like it can in Europe and did in the US. If found in violation of Indian competition law, CCI could throw a fine at Google of up to 10 percent of Google’s income, and with as big as Google is, we know that that could amount to billions of dollars.