So it seems Google isn’t finding this global search dominance thing so easy with reports surfacing this week that Indian anti-trust regulators are looking into claims Google rigged its search results in that country.
“We’re currently reviewing this report from the CCI’s (Competition Committee of India) ongoing investigation,” a Google spokesman said in a statement. “We continue to work closely with the CCI and remain confident that we comply fully with India’s competition laws.”
These accusations, while certainly not new to Google, are exactly what they need to avoid if they want to continue their internet search dominance. If users even think they are being served results which aren’t in their best interests then you could see them leave in droves – provided another ready-made option was available. The same would be true of advertisers if they feel they aren’t getting an honest shake on Google’s platform.
The wheels are already in motion in Europe where regulators appear to be aggressively targeting Google’s shopping results and comparisons of the regulators move against Microsoft and how that affected the former tech giant are already being made. Currently Google dominates search in Europe, reportedly enjoying penetration as high as 97 percent in some jurisdictions and Android use as great as 75 percent in the entire market.
Given this it will be interesting to see in India – which with its increasingly young, literate and urban population- responds to any serious allegations against Google. Currently Google dominates search with India’s 300 million online users and its Android operating system. But this is a country with a population of well over 1 billion and as they begin to come online could be a bellwether for where search is headed.