NEW DELHI: The Competition Commission of India on Thursday rejected allegations of unfair business practices made against Google with respect to its advertising platform, stating that the company's actions did not infringe provisions of competition law.
The panel's order dismissed complaints filed against Google LLC, Google Ireland Ltd and Google India Pvt Ltd in 2014 by Vishal Gupta and Albion InfoTel (informants). In a majority order passed by four members, the CCI concluded that there was no violation of competition norms by Google. However, Competition Commission of India (CCI) Chairperson D K Sikri passed a dissent note. It was alleged that Google indulged in anti-competitive practices with respect to its advertising platform AdWords.
However, the CCI found that Google's AdWords policies protect the platform and the end-users, particularly, the vulnerable end-users. "... there is evidence on record showing that the informants' conduct was likely to endanger end-users of remote tech services. They repeatedly committed multiple violations of the AdWords policies, demonstrating a consistent and persistent pattern of misconduct and user harm (eg. through tactics designed to mislead or exploit users)," the order also noted.
Meanwhile, Sikri, in his dissent note, said he was of the opinion that "rather than passing a final order under Section 27 of the (Competition) Act, the present cases ought to have been referred back to the Director General... for further investigation" on the basis of certain aspects.