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Google appeals against Competition Commission of India’s ‘search bias’ verdict (Relevant for GS Prelims, GS Mains Paper III)

Online search giant Google has filed an appeal at the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) against a judgement from India’s competition watchdog that found it guilty of “search bias”.

In February, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had imposed a Rs.1.36 billion ($20.95 million) fine on Google, saying it was abusing its dominance in online web search and online search advertising markets.

Rationale by CCI
A CCI official said that its judgement was “robust” and that the competition watchdog plans to defend its verdict at the NCLAT.

“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 CCI said in its 190-page judgement.

European Commission imposed fine
Last year, The European Commission imposed a record €2.4 billion ($3 billion) fine on the company for favouring its shopping service and demoting rival offerings. Google has appealed against the verdict.

Details
In India, the Commission found that Google, through its search design, had placed its commercial flight search function at a prominent position on the search results page to the disadvantage of businesses trying to gain market access.

The CCI ruling brought to an end a probe first started by the watchdog in 2012 on complaints filed by matchmaking website Bharat Matrimony and a not-for-profit organisation, Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS).

(Adapted from the Hindu)



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