Enquiry ordered by CCI against Google

The chief national competition regulator, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), has called for an investigation to look into the matter of Google using its dominant position in the digital news sphere, after a complaint received from the Indian Newspapers Society (INS) about the same. The CCI has received similar complaints from the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) and has ordered to combine both the information received from the INS and the DNPA. The DNPA includes members such as NDTV, Dainik Bhaskar, Hindustan Times, India Today, The Times of India, Eenadu, Amar Ujala, Malayalam Manorama, Jagran New Media, The Indian Express. Following a complaint by the DNPA in January, with regards to Google’s abuse of power in the advertising market digitally, the CCI has ordered for an investigation against Google. The INS has stated “The CCI has found out that the claims made by INS against Google fall under the scope of the Competition Act 2002, requiring a thorough inquiry by the director-general. The INS is working towards securing a genuine compensation for content for everyone involved”. The statement mentioned that Google India Private Limited, Alphabet Inc, Google Ireland Limited, Google Asia Pacific Pte Ltd, Google LLC are apparently making use of their influential position relating to Google Ad Tech services and news referral services in the online news media industry in India, thereby violating Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002. It threw light on the fact that the publishers and producers of news content are not paid in a justified manner in comparison to their investments to create content. According to INS, the percentage of the advertising revenue that goes to the news publishers and Google is not disclosed to the former. A number of countries which include Spain, Australia, France among others, have brought out legal regulations that dictate tech organizations like Google to make compensation for using the content by other producers and their search results. Another competition complaint has also been filed by the European Publishers Council claiming that Google has got absolute control over the technology powered advertising market and has established a dominant position in the same.


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