Google Facing New Antitrust Charges In India

Google logo July 2015 AH 3

Google has been questioned about the reliability of their search results when it comes to the company making changes to its own search engine to benefit specific search results. This kind of abuse has always been a nuisance to the numerous internet giant’s competitors; although most of the time, these complaints never lead to any sort of legal action, as Google normally finds a way out of the accusations. But, on some rare occasions the allegations move onto becoming lawsuits and governmental investigations, such as the one taking place in Europe for the same kind of antitrust accusations. Today, a group of several major companies (all of which, directly compete with Google), including Flipkart, Facebook, the Nokia’s maps team, MakeMy-Trip.com, among others; have filed a significant complaint against the internet giant itself. In the filing, the companies stated that Google has, for quite some time, rigged its search results in India. This has allegedly led the company to even further dominate the whole internet industry by taking advantage of the power it already has over the flow of internet traffic.

The Competition Commission of India will be the entity in charge of the investigation against Google, which is hugely reminiscent of what has been happening in Europe for at least five years. The charges that Google is facing today in India, are basically the same that the company is facing in Europe; as both are accusing the internet giant of a conspiracy of competitors. This kind of abuse consists in a company helping its own products to succeed by pushing them into its other popular services, in this case Google Search. The company was reported to be taking part in this kind of abuse by over 30 different businesses, ranging from social networks to e-commerce websites, which means that Google has been promoting Google+, Maps, the Google Play Store and its other services inside Search, leaving other similar companies with no chance of ever being as successful as Google’s own products and services.

Bharat Matrimony and a Jaipur-based not-for-profit, Consumer Unity and Trust Society were the first to file a complaint against Google, which was quickly followed by a decent number of major companies. This is the main reason as to why the Competition Commission in India accepted the case and formalized the charges against Google. It is clear that Google has been under a lot of similar accusations around the globe, but unfortunately Google still hasn’t addressed any of them, leaving the different antitrust authorities to freely investigate the allegations, which could lead to a fine of up to 10 percent of Google’s total income.