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CCI charges Google with rigging search results

CCI charges Google with rigging search results; Flipkart, Facebook corroborate complaints
 
BY:Vandana


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Flipkart, Facebook, Nokia's maps division, MakeMy-Trip.com and several other companies have corroborated complaints that US Internet giant Google abused its dominant market position, in their response to queries raised by the Competition Commission of India.

Based on the responses from 30 businesses spanning search, social networks, ecommerce, travel and content sites, the CCI director-general last week filed a report that accuses Google of abusing its dominant position to rig search outcomes, both the actual search result as well as sponsored links. This marks the first case globally where an antitrust body is formally raising such charges against Google.

The initial complaints were filed by Bharat Matrimony and a Jaipur-based not-for-profit, Consumer Unity and Trust Society. Microsoft has made an extensive submission on Google's alleged abuse of power, according to the report, seen by ET. Others who responded to CCI include Map-MyIndia.com, Hungama Digital and GroupM.

Google needs to file its response to the findings by September 10, and a week later present itself before the seven-member commission headed by Chairman Ashok Chawla. The proceeding can go on for several hearings before the commission makes a decision, which can be challenged in the Supreme Court. If the commission finds Google guilty, it can ask the company to make changes in the way it does business.

CCI may also impose a fine up to 10% of Google's income. The CCI could also pursue against top Google executives. Google posted a net income of more than $14 billion on revenue of $66 billion in 2014.
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