Zenith CC&P Current Awareness

Indian Competition Commission fines Google for abuse of dominance

9 February 2018

Suzanne Rab

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has fined Google 1.36 billion rupees (€17.2 million) for abusing its dominant position in India’s online search markets.  The penalty follows a six-year investigation.

The CCI started its investigation in 2012 following a complaint from Indian matchmaking site Matrimony.com and the consumer group Consumer Unity

& Trust Society (CUTS).

The penalty represents 5 per cent of Google’s Indian revenues in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

The CCI however dismissed allegations of abuse in relation to some of Google’s specialised search design (OneBoxes), AdWords, online intermediation and distribution arrangements.

The CCI’s 8 February order finds that Google gave preferential treatment to its own products in the first and other search result positions, apparently regardless of relevance.  It has ordered Google to cease from relevance-neutral approaches to search result prioritisation that promote its own products. 

The CCI has also found that Google blocked competitor search engines from entering and expanding on the Indian market through restrictive provisions in its contracts with publishers.

It should be noted that there were two dissenting views in this majority (4-2) decision and which call into question whether Google’s practices were abusive.

Current Awareness

By the CC&P team