Google faces fresh probe from CCI over abuse of dominant position in news aggregation



The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on January 7 ordered a fresh probe against internet giant Google over alleged abuse of dominant position in news aggregation.

The CCI ordered the investigation against Google based on a complaint filed by the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) alleging misuse of dominance in news aggregation.

CCI said Google dominates certain online search services in the country and may have imposed unfair conditions on news publishers.

DNPA, which comprises the digital arms of some of India’s biggest media companies, said Google denied fair advertising revenue to its members.

“Google is using its dominance to protect its position in the news aggregation services market. News publishers are dependent on Google for majority traffic, making it an ‘indispensable trading partner, ” CCI said.

The DNPA has alleged that Google “unilaterally decides the amount to be paid to news publishers” and also the terms of the same.

The association further claimed that Google does not share data on the revenue it earns from advertising on news websites and only shares a small chunk of its advertising revenue in an arbitrary manner.

Based on the allegations leveled against Google by the DNPA, the anti-trust agency observed that the multinational tech firm has been imposing unfair conditions on news publishers by not sharing data on advertisement revenue, which is in violation of Section 4(2)(a) of the Act.

Hence, they appear to have no choice but to accept Google’s terms and conditions.

“The imbalance and denial of fair share in ad revenue merit a detailed investigation,” the Competition Commission said, adding that Google will get sufficient opportunity to present its case during the course of the investigation.