02 September 2015

Google faces barrage of antitrust complaints

The Indian antitrust authority has released a lengthy report evaluating allegations of monopoly abuses by Google. The document's release coincides with the launch of a platform to help companies to collectively sue the search engine.

By Bernard Goyder

Under microscope of Indian competition regulator

Google is facing a barrage of antitrust complaints from technology firms and governments, with authorities in India the latest to question the legality of the technology giant's business practices. The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has compiled complaints from thirty technology companies, including Facebook, Amazon and Nokia, in a 714 page report. The California-based technology company has until September 10 to respond to the allegations, which stem from an investigation started in 2012, before the CCI panel hears the case. Like similar investigations in the EU, the Indian agency alleges that Google is putting its own proprietary results ahead of other websites in searches. 

Potential class action litigation

The developments in the subcontinent come as Google faces likely class action litigation in Europe, following the launch of a new platform to collate complaints against it by antitrust law firm Hausfeld. The Google Redress and Integrity Platform (GRIP), developed with Avisa Partners, a public affairs consultancy, is intended to support businesses seeking redress from Google.

Additonal profit

'Rival online services were denied a fair display in search results because of Google’s practices,' Laurent Geelhand, Hausfeld managing partner in Brussels, claims. 'Google was also able to generate additional profit, often at the consumers’ expense,' he added. 'Any person or entity that engaged in e-commerce in the EU may have a civil claim and through GRIP.' The service will look for companies to join class action suits against all Google products, including Youtube, Search, Maps and Shopping. Sources: Economic TimesHausfeld

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