formal complaint against Google before CCI;
Accuses Internet giant of indulging in
Bar & Bench News Network, June 14, 2012
activist, Consumer Unity & Trust Society (CUTS) has filed a formal
complaint against search engine Google with the Competition
Commission of India (CCI) on June 8, 2012. The complaint has been
filed for violation of Sections 3 and 4 of the Competition Act,
2002, which deals with anti-competitive agreements and abuse of
This is the second
formal complaint filed against Google in the last few months.
Recently, Indian matrimonial site, Bharat Matrimony had filed a
formal complaint against Google with the CCI alleging that the
search engine has abused its dominance by engaging in
discriminatory and retaliatory practices relating to AdWords.
Google is now being probed by CCI for the alleged discriminatory
practice and the report is expected in next three to four months.
Speaking to Bar &
Bench CUTS Associate Director Udai Mehta, without revealing
further details of the complaint said, “In principle, we have
brought out before the Commission the results of specific studies
on this issue and how various contraventions are being committed.
Also, we have brought to the Commission’s notice as to how various
competition authorities in other jurisdictions have taken
cognizance of such practices by Google which is affecting their
The complaint calls
for the CCI to investigate whether Google has been using its
market power in the search engine and online advertising market to
"affect" the growth of the Indian search, advertising and related
markets and to monitor acquisitions made by Google in India
primarily to tackle competition, said CUTS in a Preliminary
Information Report (PIL) submitted to the CCI.
Udai told Bar & Bench
that, “Given the size of the Internet economy and its exponential
growth trajectories, it is pertinent to look at the competitive
market structure and its conducts overall and also the dynamics
between small scale enterprises and large enterprises in India, in
The Indian Internet
economy represents approximately 5 percent of GDP, and it is
projected to grow to approximately Rs.11 trillion by 2016. Had
internet been a sector, it would have been the eighth largest
sector in India, larger than mining and utilities."
"Any unfair practice
of Advertising Service Providers will have major repercussions on
small scale customers who can create favorable conditions for
market monopolization and possibilities of abuse”, added Udai.
According to CUTS,
these practices are detrimental to the interests of the consumer
as they intend to make the Indian Internet market less competitive
and create illegal restrictions on the freedom of other market
Udai told Bar & Bench
that an immense amount of research was undertaken to provide the
relevant data to CCI.
CUTS refused to
provide the copy of the complaint since the matter is subject to
scrutiny before the CCI.
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