India's competition regulator CCI (Comeptition Commission of India) imposed a fine of ₹136 crore ($21.17 million) on the tech giant Google for "search bias".
In addition to that, the committee discovered that the search engine juggernaut was injecting a link in a bunch of commercial ad units which led users to Google Flight.
The regulator has been investigating Google since 2012 when a website called Matrimony.com and the Consumer Unity &Trust Society complained about Google's practices.
The company abused its dominant position in web search by influencing search results and directing users to its own services, says India's antitrust watchdog. Such practice of Google was unfair to the users and was found to be in contravention of the provisions of Section 4 (2)(a)(i) of the Act. Not a first time when Google has been fined in such a case. "And most importantly, it denied European consumers a genuine choice of services and the full benefits of innovation", Commissioner Margrethe Vestager, who is in charge of competition policy had then said. Based on findings of contraventions against Google, CCI imposed a penalty of Rs.135.86 crore uponGoogle after taking into account its revenue from its India operations only.
A Google spokesperson told Reuters that the company was aware of the concerns the CCI had pointed out in its order, and was looking into them. "Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service", the European Commission said in a statement. This section pertains to abuse of dominant position.
"The Competition Commission of India has confirmed that, on the majority of issues it examined, our conduct complies with Indian competition laws". "It denied other companies the chance to compete on the merits and to innovate".
"This can have a detrimental effect on economic welfare and economic growth, particularly in countries relying on high growth such as India", the order said.
The CCI in its order noted that the allegations against Google in respect of search results essentially centred around design of Search Engine Result Page (SERP). This would be a disadvantage to businesses that are trying to gain access to the market, the CCI said in a statement.