Google stumble over 'Matrimony'| Fined Rs 136 crore by India's Competition Commission

Google fined Rs 136 cr in India for bias in search results

Speaking after imposing the penalty of Rs 136 crore on Google, a unit of United States firm Alphabet Inc, Competition Commission of India has found that Google was using its dominance in online web search and online search advertising markers.

The Competition Commission of India said in a statement that it was imposing a fine of 1.36 billion rupees ($21 million) on Google along with a warning to desist from unfair practices.

The antitrust authority said it imposed the penalty based on complaints by matrimony.com and the Consumer Unity and Trust Society in 2012. The search engine leader has, time and again, misused its dominant presence to promote its own services and products. "Exhibiting a self-imposed regulatory forbearance from scrutinising product designs in ascertaining anti-trust violations, CCI noted in its order that product design is an important and integral dimension of competition, undue intervention in designs of SERP can affect legitimate product improvements". According to CCI, Google has been found indulging practicing search bias which has allegedly put an impact on competitors and user.

This, the CCI said, was in contravention of Section 4 (2)(a)(i) of India's 2002 Competition Act.

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The watchdog has also ordered Google to not enforce the restrictive clauses with immediate effect in its negotiated direct search intermediation agreements with Indian partners. The CCI has also observed in its order that Google was leveraging its dominance in the market for online general web search, to strengthen its position in the market for online syndicate search services.

For this case, CCI considered markets in India for online general web search services and for online search advertising services as the relevant ones.

The order to impose the hefty fine on Google was passed by a 4-2 majority by the CCI, which noted that the fine was imposed on the search giant "taking into account its revenue from its India operations only".

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