India A Second Front In Google’s Antitrust Battles With Foreign Regulators

31 Aug 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

CCI and 30 Indian companies accuse Google of rigging search results; find out the other side of the story!.

Indian antitrust officials have accused Google Inc. of stifling competitors and favoring companies that advertise with it, opening up the latest front in a worldwide battle over whether the California tech company is abusing its power as a top search engine.Last year a European court discovered a “right to be forgotten” on the Internet, allowing Europeans to demand that search engines remove links in search results to news stories and other accurate information that these people don’t want discovered.

Dating website Bharat Matrimony and the Consumer Unity and Trust Society filed the initial complaints against Google, which led to a formal accusation last week by the Competition Commission of India, the Economic Times of India reported. Unless the Obama administration can rouse itself to intervene to protect an open Internet, Google GOOG 0.19 % could soon have to start deleting search results in the U.S., making the Internet inaccurate for Americans, too. Among the complaints are that Google gave preference to its own services, such as stock-information website Google Finance, over those of competitors and that it demoted search results related to companies that didn’t advertise much on Google.

Google has until Sept. 10 to respond to the Indian competition authority, the newspaper reported, and faces orders to change business practices and a fine. The court said the articles violated his privacy, even though the accounts were true, and ordered search engines to delist links that are “inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant or excessive.” This isn’t about privacy—it’s about hiding. After accusing Google of ambushing Zomato’s search results, Goyal added in a subsequent tweet that a senior Google executive told him that such practices were not within Google guidelines. For now, Google has denied any wrongdoing on its part in influencing, rigging or modifying search results, claiming it has been under stringent scrutiny the world over and has been cleared by national courts in several countries.

As Google put it, if the search engine allows France to edit its results globally, “We would find ourselves in a race to the bottom,” where “in the end, the Internet would only be as free as the world’s least free place.” European citizens, aided by a cottage industry of “reputation management” firms and lawyers, have invoked their right to be forgotten to get Google to delete links to one million Web pages of information, prevailing in about 40% of applications. BBC news articles suppressed by Google in Europe include reports of convictions of rapists, schoolteachers fired for having sex with students and business commentary during the credit crisis critical of Merrill Lynch. The open Internet was built on American exceptionalism favoring free speech and permissionless innovation, not censorship and search algorithms vetted by lawyers.

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