Here are the top 10 things you need to know about the probe into Google’s news aggregation practices ordered by the Competition Commission of India
(Representative Image: AP)
India’s anti-trust agency, the Competition Commission of India (CCI), has ordered a fresh probe against Silicon Valley tech giant Google Inc over allegations that it abused its dominant position in news aggregation.
“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 on January 7.
“The imbalance and denial of fair share in ad revenue merit a detailed investigation,” it said, adding that Google will get sufficient opportunity to present its case during the course of the investigation.
Let’s check out the top 10 things about the case.
- Violation of law: The Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002, pertains to the abuse of the dominant position. “In view of the foregoing analysis, in sum, the commission is of prima facie view that Google has violated provisions of Section 4 of the Act,” the CCI said.
- Becoming indispensable: The CCI noted that Google is “using its dominance to protect its position in the news aggregation services market” and said that news publishers are dependent on Google for majority traffic, making it an “indispensable trading partner”.
- Publishers’ wrath: 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.
- Unilateral decision: The DNPA alleged that Google “unilaterally decides the amount to be paid to news publishers” and also the terms of the same.
- Hiding revenue: DNPA 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.
- Loss to publishers: DNPA said the members of the association have to suffer a loss of advertising revenues and the inability to bargain a fair share in the value chain of news dissemination, despite working and generating credible news.
- Compulsion: DNPA said that they appear to have no choice but to accept Google’s terms and conditions.
- The investigation: Based on these allegations, the CCI 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.
- The investigation: The regulator has directed its investigation arm, the director-general (DG), to cause an investigation into the matter and submit the investigation report within 60 days.
- Equal opportunity: The CCI has assured that Google will get sufficient opportunity to present its case during the course of the investigation.
(With inputs from PTI)