Author: V Sridhar, Professor, IIIT Bangalore

The invited opinion article discusses the CCI order focusing on 

  1. the multi-sided nature of Google search, 
  2. the vertical commercial search comparison sites operated by Google that seem to get prominence in the organic search result page of Google search, and 
  3. the restrictions imposed by Google on third-party websites that use syndicated search/ Google search API. 

The article points out the need for near monopolies in the content space including Google and Facebook to be transparent about 

  1. The contractual and licensing conditions to third-parties who depend on these firms for their marketing needs, and 
  2. User information collected and their possible usage. 

The article warns that this indictment gives a signal to Google about abuse of its dominance on search market and the regulators around the world may be seriously looking at structural and accounting separation of related businesses for detection of the anti-competitive behavior of such firms.

Read the entire article published in Economic Times' on February 15, 2018 on recent indictment of Google by the Competition Commission of India (CCI).