Google has been fined once again for breaking anti-trust guidelines. The company previously paid $2.7 billion to the EU for undermining competitors in it’s shopping feature.
It’s now been hit with a further $21 million fine from India’s competition commission. The search giant has been using its market dominance to abuse the local market.
“Google was leveraging its dominance in the market for online general web search, to strengthen its position in the market for online syndicate search services,” said the ICC. “The competitors were denied access to the online search syndication services market due to such a conduct.”
“Further, prohibitions imposed under the negotiated search intermediation agreements upon the publishers have been held to be unfair as they restricted the choice of these partners and prevented them from using the search services provided by competing search engines.”
Flight Search Monopoly
In one example, Google directed users to its own flight search page over others, disadvantaging those trying to break into the market.
However, it wasn’t all loss for the company. The commission cleared Google of alleged OneBoxes, Adwords, and online intermediation violations.
“We are reviewing the narrow concerns identified by the Commission and will assess our next steps,” said a Google spokesperson to Tech Crunch. “We have always focused on innovating to support the evolving needs of our users. The Competition Commission of India has confirmed that, on the majority of issues it examined, our conduct complies with Indian competition laws.”
Though the $21 million is little more than a slap on the wrist for Google, it does highlight contradictions between its marketing and its actions. The Google for India project promises to help small and medium-sized businesses grow, yet the company is actively stifling competition in the country.