The Competition Commission of India (CCI), that country’s antitrust watchdog, has imposed a 1.36 billion-rupee ($21.17 million) fine on Google for what the organization is calling “search bias.” The fine is the end result of a probe that began in 2012, spurred by complaints filed by matchmaking service Bharat Matrimony and the non-profit Consumer Unity and Trust Society.
The enormous fine, as the complaint documents read, is the outcome of a 5-year-long probe that began way back in 2012. The search for proof (felt like making a pun!) that Google was allegedly exploiting its position of power was spurred by complaints by non-profit organization Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS), along with matchmaking platform Bharat Matrimony.
“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 lengthy investigation, the Commission found that Google was providing an uneven ground to competitors by favoring its own services and partners.
A Google spokesperson called the CCI’s concerns “narrow” in a statement. “The Competition Commission of India has confirmed that, on the majority of issues it examined, our conduct complies with Indian competition laws,” the spokesperson said.
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