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CCI’s Anti-Competitive Probe Against Google Remains Standstill: Report

It appears that the Competition Commission of India’s (CCI’s) investigation to find whether Google violated its dominant position in the Internet search engine market is not likely to be completed any time soon, reports The Economic Times.

Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) Associate Director Udai Mehta said to the publication that the organization has not heard back from CCI since the probe began and that it could be as they do not have the right skills to examine the issue. Mehta also added that they plan to write to CCI enquiring about the current state of the probe, as indicated by the report. However, CCI Spokesperson Seema Gaur said that the probe is expected to be completed shortly.

Complaints against Google with CCI

In June 2012, CUTS had filed a formal complaint against Google’s unethical and anti-competitive business practices with the CCI on June 6, 2012. This was the second formal complaint against Google.

In February 2012, CCI ordered for a formal probe against Google in India for its Adwords service when Chennai based Consim Info, that runs Bharatmatrimony.com formally filed a complaint against Google, citing discriminatory trade practices. At that time, CUTS told MediaNama that the information filed by CUTS against Google is for violations of Section 3 and Section 4 of the Indian Competition Act, 2002 which covers acts on Anti-competitive agreements and Abuse of dominant position. The specifics of the complaint are not known.

Eximorp

In February 2011, CCI reviewed (PDF) a complaint filed by Eximorp India Pvt Ltd against Google India Pvt Ltd for alleging abuse of the dominant position by Google for its Adwords service. Eximorp filed complaint against Google  for:

  • Google’s Business practices are inappropriate and discriminatory in nature.
  • Bidding process introduced by Google to place advertisements on Adwords is non-transparent.
  • Google doesn’t provide information on visitors.
  • Google refused to accept payment via credit card, a discriminatory practice on Geographical location.

However, CCI ruled in favor of Google stating it could not find any evidence that Google has been indulging in any kind of anti-competitive practices.

Bharatmatrimony

Bharatmatrimony, in 2009, had filed a complaint against Google at the Madras high court for displaying their competitors ads on Google search result page when someone searches for ‘bharatmatrimony’. They had taken Google, Shaadi.com and SimplyMarry.com to court. In February 2012, Bharatmatrimony again  filed a complaint against Google, citing discriminatory trade practices related to its AdWords program.

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