India accuses Google of manipulating search results

India accuses Google of manipulating search results
WDnetStudio / Pixabay

Google could be forced to pay a $1.4 billion fine to the Competition Commission of India. The report comes after the search giant was accused of rigging search results, and it could mean Google will have to pay about 10% of its income from last year, which was $14 billion. CCI claims the California-based tech company displayed its own content and services prominently over that of others. They further claimed that sponsored links featured in the search engine’s results depend on the amount of money received from its clients.

Google accused of prioritizing its own search results

Concerns from non-profit group Consumer Unity and Trust Society and arranged marriage website Bharat Matrimony prompted the CCI director general to file a report against Google. Those complaints were strengthened by responses from 30 other tech companies, including Flipkart, Facebook, MakeMyTrip and others. Flipkart also claimed to discover that search results often have a direct correlation with the amount of money spent on Google.

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Google’s representative added, “We’re currently reviewing this report from the CCI’s ongoing investigation… We continue to work closely with the CCI and remain confident that we comply fully with India’s competition laws. Regulators and courts around the world, including in the US, Germany, Taiwan, Egypt and Brazil, have looked into and found no concerns on many of the issues raised in this report.”

Google’s antitrust issue with the European Union

This wasn’t the first time Google was forced to pay up for antitrust-related issues. Earlier this year, the search giant paid $166,000 to the CCI for allegedly not cooperating with the investigation process. The company is also facing charges from the European Union. Just last week, Google denied antitrust charges from the EU, which claimed Google prioritized its own search results over those of others. The tech giant also claimed there was a lot of competition within the online search market of the region, and their services offered more options for local consumers. If Google is found to have broken the EU’s antitrust laws, it may end up owing a total of $6.7 billion.

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