Google India Said to Appeal CCI's Search Bias Order

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Google on Tuesday said it has filed an appeal against a judgment by fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) that fined the tech giant Rs 136.86 crore for abuse of its dominance and biased search practices in India.

The Indian competition watchdog's judgement which found Google guilty came on the back of the firm losing an antitrust case past year in Europe for which it was fined a massive $3 billion for favouring its own shopping service and demoting offerings from other firms. "So, we have filed an appeal and sought a stay on those findings", a Google spokesperson said. Google has appealed against the verdict.

The CCI ruling brought to an end a probe first started by the watchdog in 2012 on complaints filed by matchmaking website Bharat Matrimony and a not-for-profit organization, Consumer Unity and Trust Society (CUTS).

In its judgement of 190 pages, the CCI said that Google had found to be taking part in search bias and because of doing so, had caused much harm to its fellow competitors as well as all those who use the search service.

CCI found that Google had placed its commercial flight search function at a prominent position on the search results page to the disadvantage of businesses trying to gain market access.

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In February, the Competition Commission of India fined Google 1.36 billion rupees ($21 million), saying it was also abusing its dominance by giving its own online airline flight search product an unfair advantage over rivals.

A Google spokesperson at the time had said the company was reviewing the "narrow concerns" identified by the Commission and will assess its next steps.

"This order is significant as the CCI recognises that Google is the gatekeeper to the internet and has a special responsibility to ensure a level playing field", he said.

"We have always focused on innovating to support the evolving needs of our users".

"The CCI has confirmed that on the majority of issues it examined, our conduct complies with Indian competition laws".

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