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India launches anti-trust probe into Google

Google workers ride bikes outside of Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. , Thursday, April 12, 2012. - AP Photo

NEW DELHI: The Competition Commission of India said Monday it had launched an anti-trust probe into Google's online advertising practices, deepening the Internet giant's legal woes in the country.

S.L. Bunker, the secretary of the commission, told AFP that the probe was in response to a complaint from online match-making website Bharatmatrimony.com.

“We are investigating Google,” he said, adding that the website “has filed information which is being investigated to see if it can be verified.”In February the Economic Times reported that Bharatmatrimony.com had complained that Google had “abused its dominance by engaging in discriminatory and retaliatory practices relating to AdWords”.

“We have requested the Commission to investigate Google's practices and impose remedial measures to protect competition,” a statement from the company said.

AdWords, Google's advertising mainstay, sells keywords to companies which appear in the site's search engine, allowing them to promote their product online. The giant pulled in $36.5 billion of ad revenue worldwide in 2011.

Sources at Bharatmatrimony.com told the Economic Times that the company had filed the complaint over Adwords' sale of keywords relating to Bharatmatrimony.com to its matchmaking rivals such as Shaadi.com.

A Google spokesperson told AFP the company had “not received any communication” on the matter and declined further comment.


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