India’s anti-trust watchdog has decided that Google may have a case to answer in relation to claims that it has been abusing its monopoly position in search.
The probe report of the Director General of the Competition Commission of India, is believed to have found Google in violation of certain competition regulations after investigating complaints from well-known e-commerce firms and web portals in India.
A final decision would be taken by the seven-member Competition Commission headed by Chairman Ashok Chawla.
“We are 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,” a Google spokesperson said.
The anti-trust watchdog is looking into complaints that Google systematically gave prominence to its own ads, which amounted to an abuse of its dominant position in search.
The CCI would take a final decision after hearing Google on September 17 and other parties in the case, including the complainants Bharat Matrimony and Consumer Unity and Trust Society.
Google has been asked to respond to the findings of the CCI probe by September 10.
The Competition Commission of India has the powers to levy appropriate penalties, including a fine of up to 10 per cent of Google’s income.
All decisions of the CCI can be challenged in the top court of the country.
India has the second largest number of internet users after China and is an important market for Google.
“India is adding 6-7 million new mobile internet users every month, which is more than the five-million population of Norway in northern Europe. No wonder, India has overtaken the US in mobile penetration and is second only to China,” Google India marketing director Sandeep Menon said last month at the launch of a new Google application in the southern Indian city of Bangalore.
Google is also battling formal anti-trust charges brought against the search giant by the European Commission.
On Tuesday, high-profile US law firm and class action specialist Hausfeld launched the “Google Redress Integrity Platform” (GRIP) aimed at those affected by alleged anti-competitive behavior by Google in Europe.
Google Inc. provides its products and services in more than 100 languages and in more than 50 countries, regions and territories.
TBP and Agencies