Google probe report ‘only beginning’: CCI chief

19 Sep 2015


The Competition Commission of India (CCI) today said its investigation arm had submitted its report on the alleged anti-competitive practices of internet major Google and was awaiting comments on it from concerned parties.

"The case has been going on for some time. The investigator (Director General) has given the report," CCI chairman Ashok Chawla said in New Delhi.

He was responding to a query about the status of the Google case. He said "the investigator's report in a sense is only a beginning," at an interaction with journalists from the Indian Women Press Corps.

Referring to the normal procedures followed in the cases, Chawla said the investigation report had been sent out to parties on both sides and they have to now give their comments.

Cases are referred for detailed probe by the CCI to its investigation arm Director General (DG). The DG report is believed to contain comments and inputs from a number of entities present in the internet business, including a number of well-known e-commerce firms and web portals.

While submissions from some of them appeared to suggest violations on the part of Google, others had sided with the US-based global giant.

In the probe by DG of investigation, it had been revealed that Google allegedly abused its dominance in the Indian market by incorporating clauses in its agreements with users that restricted them from availing services of third-party search engines. The investigation had also found that a number of agreements, the company had with other parties had a one-sided clause relating to termination, possible for only those players who were dominant.

Under the Competition Act, in case guilt was proved, CCI could fine the company up to 10 per cent of its three-year annual average turnover.

The investigation followed filing of complaints by CUTS, a consumer rights website, in 2011, and, a matchmaking portal, in 2012, against the alleged abuse of dominance by Google.

As the Competition Commission of India readies to begin its hearing into the alleged anti-competitive practices of Google, the internet major has demanded access to certain documents held back by the watchdog to prepare a ''thorough response'' and is reported to have sought more time to make its submissions. (See: Google asks CCI for access to probe documents).

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