Search Engines in Search of Fair Play
(6 pages of text)
Google’s plan to gear up its flight search service in India by allowing users to compare fares and book tickets made other domestic travel portals in India nervous. There were fears that this development might turn out to be discriminative as Google had the dominant share in Internet search service. Fearing a substantial reduction in their share of the search market, these domestic portals had the option of lodging a complaint against Google with the Competition Commission of India.
Google’s business practices had been challenged and/or come under the scanner of anti-competitive law in many other countries as well. The public in India wondered why Google was involved in such controversies. Why did competing companies fear Google’s business practices? What would be the Competition Commission of India’s stand and how would it help consumers and society in general?
The case is designed for postgraduate managerial economics courses that cover market structures with the objective of illustrating:
- The characteristics of a monopoly, oligopoly and perfectly competitive firm.
- The economic rationale for regulating monopoly or anti-competitive practices.
- The adverse impact of controlling monopoly on innovations.
- The importance of competition for the growth of an economy.
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