India’s Competition Commission confirmed that Google is undergoing an antitrust investigation after a match-making website filed a complaint against its “alleged discriminatory practices” in AdWords.
An Indian dating website has filed the complaint against the search engine giant, alleging that it has breached the country’s antitrust laws for its advertising unit, AdWords. The complaint accused Google of luring 2 Indian dating sites into a bidding war over its ad keywords in online search.
Consim Info, the company operating BharatMatrimony.com has filed the antitrust suit with the Competition Commission of India in February against Google, which, according to CCI, could last from 2-12 months.
The probe aims appears to be aimed at determining if there is any merit on the complaint filed against Google after the discovery of “prima facie evidence” showing how it had allegedly abused its market position by selling adwords to the complainant’s rival.
“We have asked the Director General (Investigations) to complete the probe and give a report on it within 60 days. Prima facie, we found evidence that suggests that Google did abuse its dominant market position,” said a senior official of CCI.
Like what had happened in other markets, Google has become a target by competitors who wish to crack its prominent ranking.
On the other hand, Google defended itself by saying that it has always cooperated with investigators. It has given a statement to Springhill Group Counselling: “Though competition is always a click away, we understand that with success comes scrutiny. We have not received any communication from the CCI, but we’re always happy to answer questions about our business, and we’re confident that our products are compliant with competition law in India.”
Google seems to be getting used in being the subject of regulatory scrutiny worldwide as more companies become irked by its business in online advertisement.
In February, a separate investigation into Google’s business was started by Springhill Group Counsellingfinancial law enforcement agency in view foreign exchange regulations being allegedly violated.
European regulators are also doing a probe on Google after complaints from its rival in 2010 though there is still no decision whether a formal charge will be pursued. Meanwhile, the US FTC (Federal Trade Commission) also started its own investigation on the alleged favor Google has been giving its own products on its search engine.
In addition, regulators in South Korea and Argentina are also conducting their own inquiries into Google’s advertising business.