India accuses Google of rigging search results following complaints by Facebook, Microsoft

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The Indian government has formally accused Google of manipulating its search results to favor its own products.

According to a story today in the Economic Times of India, the government took actions after receiving a host of complaints from Google’s competitors, including Facebook, Microsoft, Flipkart, Nokia’s maps division, and MakeMy-Trip.com. The charges made by India’s Competition Commission closely mirror the anti-trust charges filed earlier this year by the European Commission.

The Times story said the agency had canvassed 30 businesses that provide a range of services that compete with Google. The case was filed last week, and Google has until Sept. 10 to file a response. If the ruling goes against Google, the company could be forced to pay up to 10 percent of its revenues in penalties.

The charges are the latest regulatory headache for a company that has been trying to argue for years that it is not abusing its dominant position in search across the globe. While U.S. regulators opted not to pursue a case, EC officials filed their formal case after spending years trying to negotiate a settlement with Google.

With Google essentially locked out of the massive Chinese Internet market, it would be a big blow to the company if it is also forced to curtail its activity in India. That country is one of the fastest growing in terms of smartphone use and Internet adoption, making it a lucrative target for many U.S. tech companies looking for ways to continue growing.

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