India’s competition watchdog has filed a report that concludes Google Inc. is using its dominant position to favor its own business, based on responses from several organizations affected by how Google’s Internet search engine generates results, the Economic Times newspaper reported Monday.
These findings, in the report from the director general of the Competition Commission of India (CCI) cited by the newspaper, echo accusations made by the European Union’s main antitrust official that Google was abusing its market position -- claims that Google denied Thursday.
One conclusion in the Indian report is that Google’s search results favored its own sites over competitive services that may have higher hit rates, the Economic Times reported, citing the CCI report.
For instance, in a stock market related search, Google might show Google Finance higher than Moneycontrol.com, a well-known financial site in India, the newspaper reported. Similarly, Google Hotels might get preference over competitive holiday and travel businesses, it said.
A second finding relates to how changes in Google’s computer programs affect businesses that people are searching for by using the Internet search provider’s service. Businesses are forced to outbid each other to ensure that their paid ads appear higher, according to the report.
The CCI report cites e-commerce company Flipkart’s observation that there was a direct correlation between search results related to it and the amount of money it paid out in Google advertising, according to the newspaper report.
"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,” a Google spokesman told the newspaper in an email, it said. “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."