Fair trade regulator CCI on Friday ordered a probe against Google for its alleged abuse of 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,” according to the order of the Competition Commission of India (CCI). Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002, pertains to the abuse of the dominant position. The order came on a complaint filed by the Digital News Publishers Association.
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. The Association said the majority of the traffic on news websites comes from online search engines and Google is claimed to be the most dominant search engine.
It said more than 50 per cent of the total traffic on the news websites is routed through Google and being the dominant player, Google, by way of its algorithms, determines which news website gets discovered via search. Besides, Google is the major stakeholder in the digital advertising space and it unilaterally decides the amount to be paid to the publishers for the content created by them, as well as the terms on which the aforesaid amounts have to be paid.
It further 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.