The Competition Commission of India (CCI), that country's antitrust watchdog, has imposed a 1.36 billion-rupee ($21.17 million) fine on Google for what the organization is calling "search bias". "We are reviewing the narrow concerns identified by the commission and will assess our next steps".
The CCI has ordered that the fine - which represents five percent of the average total revenue generated by Google from its Indian operations - be paid within 60 days.
The Competition Commission of India issued an order on Thursday in a case that was opened in 2012 after complaints from marriage service provider Matrimony.com and the Consumer Unity & Trust Society, a consumer advocacy group.
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said in a 190-page order that Google was "found to be indulging in practices of search bias and by doing so, it causes harm to its competitors as well as to users".
In addition to that, the committee discovered that the search engine juggernaut was injecting a link in a bunch of commercial ad units which led users to Google Flight.
Google had a less than ideal 2017 when it came to legal woes, as it was slapped a record-breaking €2.42bn in fines for "abusing market dominance as a search engine" by the European Union's antitrust regulators, who are also investigating the company for allegedly abusing its dominance in the online advertising market.
This, the CCI said, was in contravention of Section 4 (2)(a)(i) of India's 2002 Competition Act.
A Google spokesperson told TOI, "We have always focused on innovating to support the evolving needs of our users". "Google has abused its market dominance as a search engine by giving an illegal advantage to another Google product, its comparison shopping service", the European Commission said in a statement.
Google was accused of indulging in abuse of dominant position in the India market for online search through practices leading to search bias and manipulation. However, the panel noted that it did not find any contravention with respect to Google's specialised search design, AdWords and online distribution agreements.