The Competition Commission of India (CCI), the online watchdog of the country, imposed a penalty of rupees 136 crore on Google for abusing its dominant position in online general web search and web search advertising services in India.
The penalty was imposed on the basis of the information filed by Matrimony.com and Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) in 2012.
“The commission has given thoughtful consideration on the submissions made by Google and finds it appropriate to impose a penalty at the rate of 5% of their average total revenue generated from India operations from different business segments for the financial year 2013, 2014 and 2015 as provided by Google during its submission..,” the CCI said in its order.
As per the order, the commission asked Google to pay the amount within 60 days of receiving the order.
CCI noted that Google’s undue interventions in designs of search engine result pages (SERP) can affect legitimate product improvements.
“CCI further observed in its order that Google, being the gateway to the internet for a vast majority of internet users due to its dominance in the online web search market, is under an obligation to discharge its special responsibility,” the statement said.
However, Google India representative said they need a closer look at the issue to figure out what went wrong.
“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,” said a Google India spokesperson.