Google, it seems, is finding it hard to resist the temptation to misuse its near monopolistic hold in the search domain. After being fined for €2.42billion by the European Competition Commission for favouring their own comparison shopping service, the search giant has run into trouble with Indian authorities this time.
Competition Commission of India, the watchdog of fair competition in India, had found Google routing the flight-related queries towards its own flight search service. The CCI said the company has abused its dominant position on three counts largely pertaining to search, in its 190-page order on Thursday. This practice directly harms the competitors (start-ups the most) and is unfair to the consumers as well.
A penalty of 5% of average revenue generated from India over three years from FY12 to FY15, amounting to $21 million, has to be deposited within 60 days. The penalty can increase up to 10% as stipulated under the country’s competition laws. The complaint was prompted byand Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) in 2012 against Google LLC, Google India Pvt. Ltd. and Google Ireland Ltd. for abusing its dominant position to suppress the competition.
In response to CCI order, Google said: “The Competition Commission of India has confirmed that, on the majority of issues it examined, our conduct complies with Indian competition laws.”
The allegations of competition malpractices against Google has been increasing of late and the startups which used to look up to Google as The Platform are now concerned. Google has revolutionised the information access system globally. Its effort to evolve along with the growing needs of the users is commendable, however, it is to be seen that the giant does not stifle the growing entrepreneurs. After all, power corrupts.