Google probed for anti-competitive practices in India, could face $5 billion fine

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has initiated a probe against Google for anti-competitive behaviour which could result in the company facing a $5 billion fine, if found guilty.

CCI received complaints from an advocacy group, CUTS International and an Indian matrimonial website two years ago, that Google has been using its dominant market position to alter search keywords pointing to the website. Under competition regulations, an entity found violating the norms could be slapped with a penalty of up to 10 percent of its three-year annual average turnover. For Google, its annual revenues in the last three years amounts to $49.3 billion which results in a maximum penalty of nearly $5 billion.

Google has settled the anti-trust cases with European and American regulators, however, CCI does not have the provision for settlements and a complaint filed with the Commission cannot be withdrawn.

A detailed probe from the Director General has been requested by the CCI, to which the DG is expected to respond soon with a report containing comments from third-parties as well. Google has come under fire for its anti-competitive practices in the EU, many times and has managed to settle the issues, however, legal counsel for the matrimony website, Ferida Satarawala said, "Google's unfair use of trademarks as well as its retaliatory conduct are not specifically addressed in the European settlement and are distinct theories of harm being pursued by the CCI. Therefore, this settlement is unlikely to address CCI's concerns in our case".

Source: Times of India

Report a problem with article
Previous Story

Delta Airlines to upgrade their onboard Nokia Lumia 820s to 1520s

Next Story

Microsoft replaces PCs stolen from SXSW startup group with free Windows 8.1 gear

37 Comments

Commenting is disabled on this article.

JHBrown said,
Welcome to Microsoft's world. It's part of the growing pains.
This mindset is kinda like telling an inmate that they should expect to be raped in the showers in prison. It doesn't matter that it's the norm, it's still wrong.

MrHumpty said,
This mindset is kinda like telling an inmate that they should expect to be raped in the showers in prison. It doesn't matter that it's the norm, it's still wrong.

If Google did nothing wrong, they wouldn't be getting fined to start with. That's what's wrong.

_dandy_ said,
If Google did nothing wrong, they wouldn't be getting fined to start with. That's what's wrong.
I don't have a problem with people controlling their ip through contract.

Control of information is power and more valuable than any currency...

IS people have been warning that Google's use and dominance in information brokering is at best unhealthy to the world economy.

Maybe people will start to pay attention as Google continues to slowly impact other business and exerts control over currency markets.

It would take several books and a lot of economists just to explain the basics of what is wrong with Google's business practices, and that wouldn't even dip into non-economic areas of control they already have a considerable amount of power.

If Google services and products were truly 'open' or 'free', Google wouldn't be making billions off of all these 'free' products.

Ironically, the main company that is actively trying to stop Google's control over information is Microsoft with a few companies that are starting to join forces with them, like Apple and Sun/Oracle that have rather brutal histories with Microsoft.

Mobius Enigma said,
Control of information is power and more valuable than any currency...

IS people have been warning that Google's use and dominance in information brokering is at best unhealthy to the world economy.

Maybe people will start to pay attention as Google continues to slowly impact other business and exerts control over currency markets.

It would take several books and a lot of economists just to explain the basics of what is wrong with Google's business practices, and that wouldn't even dip into non-economic areas of control they already have a considerable amount of power.

If Google services and products were truly 'open' or 'free', Google wouldn't be making billions off of all these 'free' products.

Ironically, the main company that is actively trying to stop Google's control over information is Microsoft with a few companies that are starting to join forces with them, like Apple and Sun/Oracle that have rather brutal histories with Microsoft.

Usually I agree with you. However, this is the Fear of Wal-Mart mentality. I don't use any google services. If they start being "too evil" they'll lose market share and people will be just fine not using Google. There is absolutely no need for government to get involved. Competitors using governmental force to help them compete is nothing to champion.

MrHumpty said,
Usually I agree with you. However, this is the Fear of Wal-Mart mentality. I don't use any google services. If they start being "too evil" they'll lose market share and people will be just fine not using Google. There is absolutely no need for government to get involved. Competitors using governmental force to help them compete is nothing to champion.

I admit it can sound a bit 'tinfoil'. However I also have some background with both CIS, Security, and Google.

It is also a bit personal. I have a friend's cousin that was killed after fleeing a country in Africa, and the country found them in France from information they purchased from Google, with Google knowing the information was going to be used to find refugees.


The bigger issue is the world economy and the impact that a large company like Google can have on the world.

Just these last few months, Google has been using people's 'email/GDrive/GDoc' mined information to buy up several companies, control supply, and leverage stocks. They have done this in the past, but are more open about what they doing now, which means they aren't scared of public perception or threat of regulatory action.

It is also crazy that they can do this. If they overhead a person talking about what was in their email, and acted on it, it would raise massive insider trading flags and violations. However, because they are doing this through technology services, there aren't laws to combat their use of inside information. (We need better laws in the US and in EU countries.)

As this story talks about, if Google wants to bet against your company in the market, all they have to do is drop how high your company lists on their search results.

It really goes back to information is power, and Google has more information than anyone else, and people keep giving them more.

Right now, if they start losing market share, they will dig in and use even more of their information to maintain their profitability. They don't need 80% of the search market, if they can make just as much money with 30% of the search market by using information in more nefarious ways.

Microsoft's best tool against Google in this fight is to keep repeating, "Use our services because we don't read your stuff or use the data from your stuff." Which is the right way information should be handled.

Mobius Enigma said,
It is also a bit personal. I have a friend's cousin that was killed after fleeing a country in Africa, and the country found them in France from information they purchased from Google, with Google knowing the information was going to be used to find refugees.

Just these last few months, Google has been using people's 'email/GDrive/GDoc' mined information to buy up several companies, control supply, and leverage stocks. They have done this in the past, but are more open about what they doing now, which means they aren't scared of public perception or threat of regulatory action.

I'd love to see cites on this... rather than just taking your word for it.
Microsoft's best tool against Google in this fight is to keep repeating, "Use our services because we don't read your stuff or use the data from your stuff." Which is the right way information should be handled.
I agree. It is why I don't use Google services and advise others to avoid them as well.

Mobius Enigma said,

It is also a bit personal. I have a friend's cousin that was killed after fleeing a country in Africa, and the country found them in France from information they purchased from Google, with Google knowing the information was going to be used to find refugees.

Netavenger, is that you? Your posting style is awfully familiar, and I recall netavenger also posting stuff about Google being involved in people being killed around.

Mobius Enigma said,
As this story talks about, if Google wants to bet against your company in the market, all they have to do is drop how high your company lists on their search results.
I don't know enough to comment on the rest of your post, but this one statement I do agree with and have commented on extensively myself. It's frightening how one dominant search engine controls the reigns of a company's success or failure, and simply dropping a listing lower can pretty much destroy their business overnight. Combined with the fact that they do manipulate results it's a very unhealthy situation and something does need to be done about it for sure.

I wonder why didn't they do this with Whatsapp then. Don't get me wrong, I hate Google with a passion, but whatever y'all said rings too close to home. So I'm truly curious why didn't they pursue whatsapp further.

google is like the mafia and the "open" handset alliance is like chicago in the prohibition years. basically, dare do something google doesn't approve of, and they come gun you down. Just look at Asus, they had to pull back a product because Al-Larry Page didn't approve of. thugs.

Sounds like ASUS is a bunch of pansies if they are letting Google push them around. Google cannot stop them from producing products.

techbeck said,
Almost and kicked out, like you originally stated, are 2 different things.

Yes, but the fact that Google could raise the issues they did with Aliyun and possibly kick out Acer pretty much defeats any notion of it being an 'open alliance'.

They should just rename it, 'We are Google's bitches'.

OHA has rules and Acer wasnt following them. But I guess it is ok to take bits of Android from a company you are supposed to work with, then turn around and use those bits in a competing OS.

Regardless if something is considered open, there are still rules to abide by.

techbeck said,
OHA has rules and Acer wasnt following them. But I guess it is ok to take bits of Android from a company you are supposed to work with, then turn around and use those bits in a competing OS.

Regardless if something is considered open, there are still rules to abide by.

...but Aliyun didn't violate Android's 'open' licensing. All it did was piss off Google because it bypassed their crap.

According to Google, Aliyun incorporates the Android runtime and was apparently derived from Android.

But the anti Google people will call Google liars, Pro Google people will support Google, and neutral people wont care and use what they want.

techbeck said,
According to Google, Aliyun incorporates the Android runtime and was apparently derived from Android.

But the anti Google people will call Google liars, Pro Google people will support Google, and neutral people wont care and use what they want.

Even if we agree that Google is presenting the facts, does this violate the Android open source license?

Ironically, Android's runtime came from Sun, which makes it even more bitchy that this is the point of contention Google had.

There are several non-Android products that use the Dalvik JVM, and Google can't touch them, so for them to use this against Acer in their 'group' kind of proves my point.

Who knows. Its a he said she said situation here. Unless you were directly involved in what happened, no way for anyone to know really.

Funny seeing companies like this that start off small, get bigger, and eventually face the same things a lot of other companies do.

Time flies.

If someone manages to fine Google that much then that'd be something, so far, specially in the EU, they've been given small slaps on the hand and nothing more. It seems like they've been getting off pretty easy when it comes to the courts so far.

that was search. the EU is investigating android which is far more dominant and far more problematic for google due to precedent with the MSFT trials. consider the OHA, where basically it means if you compete with google services, you're out for good and can face retribution from google. It takes the MSFT game to a whole new level of nasty.

Acer is still a part of the OHA. Has nothing to do with competing against Google's services or Samsung would of been ousted a long time ago. It has to do with not following the rules of the OHA and that is what Google had an issue with Acer. Cannot use parts of Android for your own OS...at least that is what Google claims.

techbeck said,
Acer is still a part of the OHA. Has nothing to do with competing against Google's services or Samsung would of been ousted a long time ago. It has to do with not following the rules of the OHA and that is what Google had an issue with Acer. Cannot use parts of Android for your own OS...at least that is what Google claims.

True, but when the purpose of the OHA is to keep Google in power as the decider of what Android is, it is no longer an 'open' alliance.

Most consortium and 'standards' groups do not give control to a single member.

This is just crazy stuff that allows Google to retain control, even if it isn't in the best interest of group. They also like to throw around 'open', when it is technically highly closed. Somehow just saying 'we are open' or you can look at our code removes any questioning of what 'open' really means.

I swear Microsoft should post all the portions of Windows NT that are open code (visible) and rename it, "Microsoft Open Windows - the only true open OS." Because based on how it is used with other OSes from XNU/Darwin to Android, the definition also applies to Windows.

Interesting. That is a good idea about MS and "open windows". I just think MOW would be instantly fined by the EU or something for it .

If they were kidding or joking, it's one of the best jokes I've ever heard!

Personally,
I hope they hit Google with every dime of that $5 billion! Never have liked them and never will.

As is posted below by +techbeck "Funny seeing companies like this that start off small, get bigger, and eventually face the same things a lot of other companies do." is almost exactly why I hate them except I'd say how they start out small, get bigger, then eventually get to big for their own good and face the same thing other a lot of other companies that are to big for their own good do!

simrat said,
India have some billionaires and yet big part of our population is poor. So i dont think it will do any help.

You think this is an India-only thing?

Erikas said,
5 billion will do wonders for the Indian economy

it's projected that India will over take China's (which will over take the US) lead as the worlds biggest economy by 2050.