The Competition Commission of India on Thursday said in a press release that it had imposed a fine of Rs 135.86 crore on multinational technology company Google for abusing “its dominant position in online general web search and web search advertising services in India”.
The antitrust authority said it imposed the penalty based on complaints by matrimony.com and the Consumer Unity and Trust Society in 2012. “Google was found to be indulging in practices of search bias and by doing so, it causes harm to its competitors as well as to users,” the commission said in its order.
The complainants had argued that the technology company mixes results from YouTube, Google Maps and Google News into its organic search results, to promote these websites. The complainants added that Google promotes its own services irrespective of whether they are the most popular or relevant sites to the search.
In its order, the CCI said Google “runs its core businesses of search and search advertising in an unfair and discriminatory manner” and creates an “uneven playing field by unduly favouring its own services” over those of competitors. This, the CCI said, causes harm to other website owners, by moving their websites down on the Search Engine Result Page, or SERP.