Search giant Google is currently under investigation by the Competition Commission of India (CCI), after the agency received complaints that the US-based company abused its market position and rigged its search results – according to a report in The Economic Times.
Google could face huge fine
The maximum fine, if Google is found guilty, could be up to 10% of its annual income. Google posted a net income in 2014 of more than $14 billion.
The Director General of the CCI last week filed a report based on concerns by a service that organised arranged marriages, as well as Consumer Unity and Trust Society, which is a local non-profit organisation. The complaints were also backed up by 30 Internet companies such as Flipkart, Facebook, Nokia’s HERE maps division, and more.
The CCI report says that Google displays its own content and services in preference to search results from other sources that actually have higher hit rates.
It also claims that sponsored links in search results depend on the amount of advertising funds Google receives from clients. Flipkart, which is an e-commerce portal, said it found search results directyl related to the amount of money it spend on advertising with Google.
Google now has until the 10th of September to respond to the CCI report and present before a commission the following week.
A Google spokesperson said:
We’re 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 in the US, Germany, Taiwan, Egypt and Brazil, have looked into and found no concerns on many of the issues raised in this report.
Last March, Google was fine $166,000 by the CCI for not cooperating in an antitrust investigation. But Google also faces almost identical charges in the EU, in which the company could face a fine of up to $6.7 billion.
SOURCE: The Economic Times.