India Begins Formal Antitrust Investigation Against Google
According to Reuters the Competition Commission of India (CCI) has opened a formal antitrust investigation against Google. The article reports that CCI received a complaint that Google had “contravened” an Indian “competition rule.” However that rule and the substance of the complaint aren’t identified.
Google told Reuters that it was cooperating with the CCI and was confident that it hadn’t violated any Indian regulations.
This is merely the latest legal headache for Google in India. The country has also sought to impose aggressive censorship rules on Google that require Google to block or remove any content deemed “offensive” or “objectionable” by individuals, groups or the government.
In addition to the Indian action, Google is negotiating to settle EU antitrust “concerns” to avert a formal action. The US FTC is contemplating an antitrust case against Google. Argentina and South Korea are also currently conducting antitrust investigations against Google.
According to 2009 comScore data Google has an 88.4 percent share of the Indian search market. It’s very likely Google’s search share in India remains at or above that level today. In June 2011 comScore reported that India had roughly 73 million internet users out of a population of 1.2 billion.
Search is the most widely used online category in India according to comScore. Eighty seven percent of online Indians use search, which is slightly greater penetration than the global average (85 percent).