The recently ordered probe by Competition Commission of India (CCI) into the alleged search rigging practices from Google may affect the US search engine giant’s image in the Indian market where Google is second name for the Internet.
Apart from its image, Google may have to pay a huge sum as penalty if the allegations against it are proven right. The CCI, acting on complaints received by Bharat Matrimonial and Jaipur-based NGO Consumer Unity and Trust Society, found Google working against the guidelines of the commission and helping its own subsidiary services get advantage or higher positions in the Google search results.
Both the complaints were submitted to CCI in 2012 and the commission had asked for many details and documents from Google to take the investigation further. As Google couldn’t furnish all the details within the stipulated timeframe, the Director General of the CCI imposed a fine of Rs 1 crore on the company after not receiving a proper reply to its show-cause notice.
However, after closely investigating Google’s business practices and the behavior of its search engine the CCI observed that Google Inc allegedly “abused its dominance” in the Indian market and helped its own services via its search engine services.
The CCI has already dispatched the report to Google and has sought a detailed response from the company on September 10.
If the allegations labeled against Google in the CCI report are proven right, Google will have to pay a huge sum of money as a penalty. According to Section 3 of Competition Act, Google may be penalized with up to 10 percent of its last three year’s average turnover. Google posted a net income of more than $14 billion on revenue of $66 billion in 2014.
Responding to CCI report, Google has said that it is “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 U.S., Germany, Taiwan, Egypt and Brazil, have looked into and found no concerns on many of the issues raised in this report.”
Google has also asked CCI to keep the probe and its report confidential as it will affect its business interest India and help the complainants if their complaints are filed with “malicious intentions”.