New Delhi: India’s antitrust regulator on Thursday imposed a fine of Rs136 crore on Google Inc. for unfair business practices in the local market for online search.
Passing the order on complaints filed in 2012, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) said the penalty is being imposed on Google for “infringing anti-trust conduct”. Globally, this is one of the rare cases where Google has been penalized for unfair business practices.
It was alleged that Google indulged in abuse of its dominant position in online search through practices leading to search bias and search manipulation, among others.
The penalty of Rs135.86 crore translates to 5% of the firm’s average total revenue generated from India operations from its different business segments for the financial years 2013, 2014 and 2015, according to the CCI order.
CCI said it has given thoughtful consideration to the submissions made by Google and found it appropriate to impose a fine. The ruling has come on complaints filed by Matrimony.com and Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS) against Google LLC, Google India Pvt. Ltd and Google Ireland Ltd.
A Google spokesperson said the regulator has found that the company’s conduct on the majority of issues examined were in compliance with Indian laws.
“We have always focused on innovating to support the evolving needs of our users. The Competition Commission of India has confirmed that, on the majority of issues it examined, our conduct complies with Indian competition laws. We are reviewing the narrow concerns identified by the Commission and will assess our next steps.”
A Mint staff writer contributed to this story.