Google is facing claims from the Competition Commission of India (CCI) that it rigged search results.
The company has been accused of using its strength in the online search market to give its own products and services a boost.
The CCI director general filed a report based on complaints it received from Bharat Matrimony, an arranged marriage service, and a non-profit organisation called Consumer Unity & Trust Society.
Other internet companies such as Flipkart, Facebook and Nokia’s maps division backed up the complaints.
The CCI accused Google of placing the company’s own content and services higher in search rankings than others that have higher hit rates.
A fine of up to 10% of income, which in Google’s case might be worth over $1 billion, could be levied against the company if it was to be found guilty.
Having been given until 10th September to respond to the accusations, and to attend a seven-member commission session the following week, Google released a statement about the developments:
“We’re currently reviewing this report from the CCI’s ongoing investigation. We continue to work closely with the CCI and remain confident that we comply fully with India’s competition laws.
“Regulators and courts around the world, including in the US, Germany, Taiwan, Egypt and Brazil, have looked into and found no concerns on many of the issues raised in this report.”
The new problems for Google in India follow on from run-ins with the European Union, where in April the company was officially charged with violating anti-trust laws.
Although the outcome of the EU case is yet to be established, Google could be facing fines amounting to at least $6 billion and further restrictions imposed on the way the company operates in the region.
Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner, said that a statement of objections had been sent to the company.
Speaking at a Brussels press conference, Vestager noted: “Dominant companies have a responsibility not to abuse their powerful market position by restricting competition with others in markets where they are dominant or in neighbouring markets.
“Our preliminary view is that in its general search results, Google artificially favours its own company’s shopping service and that this constitutes an abuse.”