Google faces another antitrust investigation, this time in India, it’s reported, with the search giant’s online advertising apparently under the microscope amid anti-competitiveness accusations. AdWords will be the initial point of appraisal, government officials tell the WSJ, but the Competition Commission of India could well extend its case to encompass other aspects of Google’s business.
As has been the case in other markets, Google has come in for criticism by rivals unhappy with its prominence. In India, Consim Info. Pvt.Ltd. claimed back in February that Google “abused its dominance by engaging in discriminatory and retaliatory practices relating to AdWords.” However, one of the unnamed officials claims the investigation has not been prompted by any one specific complaint.
What Google will likely want to avoid is the sort of large-scale inquiry currently underway in Europe and the US. The European Commission and the FTC have each been digging through Google’s actions in search, social and privacy management.
Google declined to comment on the Indian antitrust case, claiming that it has not been officially notified of the investigation. It is expected to take several months to complete; details of the penalties Google might face should it be deemed guilty of antitrust behaviors have not been specified.