16:53 GMT +318 July 2019
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    Google Faces $1.4Bln Fine in India for Rigging Search Results

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    The Competition Commission of India (CCI) is investigating Google over complaints that the Internet giant abused its dominant market position and rigged search results.

    Last week, the CCI director general filed a report based on complaints from Bharat Matrimony, a service that facilitates arranged marriages, and Consumer Unity and Trust Society, a local nonprofit.

    The complaints were corroborated by some of the 30 Internet companies that responded to the CCI, including Flipkart, Facebook, Nokia's maps division, MakeMyTrip and Hungama Digital, The Economic Times reported.

    According to the report, Google displays its own content and services more prominently in search results than other sources that have higher hit rates.

    The report also says that sponsored links shown in search results depend on the amount of advertising money Google receives from its clients. Ecommerce portal Flipkart said it found that search results were directly correlated with the amount of money it spent on advertising with Google.

    Google has until September 10 to respond to the CCI, and appear in front of a commission a week after that.

    "We're currently reviewing this report from the CCI's ongoing investigation," a Google spokesperson said. "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."

    If found guilty, Google could face a fine of up to 10 percent of its income, which was more than $14 billion last year.

    The company was fined $166,000 by the CCI in March for failing to cooperate in an antitrust investigation.

    Google is facing similar charges brought by the European Union. In that case, the company could be fined up to $6.7 billion, or 10 percent of its annual revenue.

    Tags:
    search engine, antitrust case, Google, Facebook, European Union, India
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