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India’s Competition Commission Orders Formal Probe Against Google

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has ordered for a formal probe against Google in India for its Adwords service, reports Hindustan Times. The report quotes Ashok Chawla, Chairperson of the CCI as saying that the investigation has been formally initiated and the report is expected to be ready in three or four months; the CCI found in a "prima facie evidence" that Google has abused its dominant market position by being discriminatory in allotting keywords to matrimonial site Bharatmatrimony.com. This follows a move from Bharatmatrimony a few months ago, wherein it formally filed a complaint against Google, citing discriminatory trade practices; a report on that here in The Economic Times. In August 2011, Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) had filed a Preliminary Information Report (PIR) with the Competition Commission of India to examine the anticompetitive practices indulged in by Google. CUTS' PIR states that Google's dominant position in online advertisement has impacted  the growth of Indian search and advertising space. The report from Hindustan Times reports that CUTS is about to file a formal complaint against Google to CCI, however, they have not filed a formal complaint yet. Udai S Mehta, Associate Director, CUTS International & Centre Coordinator, told, "CUTS works, among others, on competition and consumer protection issues. We are against potential anticompetitive activities of businesses.  Action at incipient stages could go a long way to check subsequent problems besides having a deterring effect on such practices." Not The First Time For Bharatmatrimony In 2009, Chennai-based Consim Info, that runs Bharatmatrimony.com, had petitioned the Madras High Court against Google for displaying their competitors ads on…

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