India Slaps Google With $21M Abuse Of Dominance Fine

Google Fined Rs. 136 Crore by Competition Commission of India for'Search Bias

In not a very welcome development for the global search engine, Competition Commission of India imposed a penalty of Rs 135.86 crore upon Google after finding that it abused its dominant position in online general web search and web search advertising services in India.

The CCI says that Google, through the design of its search engines, has not only placed its own commercial flight unit at a prominent position, it has also allocated disproportionate online space to these services leading to a disadvantage towards other veritcales who're trying to gain market access.

While Google argued the relevant turnover would be the segmental turnover of only those verticals where anti-competitive practices were determined, the CCI has taken into account the analytics of "Big Data" from one vertical augmenting the search results (whether advertisement based or otherwise) across other verticals as well. Google will need to deposit the fine within 60 days.

In response to the CCI ruling, a Google spokesperson stated that the company is reviewing the narrow concerns identified by the Commission and will assess its next steps.

India's antitrust watchdog has imposed a $21.1 million fine on Google, saying it abused its dominant position.

The ruling was prompted by a complaint filed in 2012 by Indian matchmaking website, Bharat Matrimony and a consumer protection group.

At the same time, the commission said it did not find any violation related to Google's specialized search design, AdWords, or online distribution agreements.

Before the CCI, was represented by a team from Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas led by Partner Naval Chopra, along with Principal Associate Yaman Verma, Senior Associate Aman Singh Sethi, and Associate Sapan Parekh. Its final order is in line with the order of the European Commission but of course in Europe, Google was fined Dollars 2.9 billion.

Rival business were disadvantaged by that "search bias ", the regulator said. Its effort to evolve along with the growing needs of the users is commendable, however, it is to be seen that the giant does not stifle the growing entrepreneurs.

The fine is meagre compared to the 2.4-billion-dollar penalty Google was forced to pay by the European Commission in 2017 for manipulating shopping searches.

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