Google In Indian Authority’s Crosshairs, Again

The Competition Commission of India, the country’s chief competition regulator, has ordered an investigation into the “abuse of dominance” by tech giant Google, the Indian Newspaper Society has said in a statement. The outfit, representing various Indian journalism enterprises, has promoted the Commission’s actions.

The INS sought fair value for content hosted on Google, stating that news publishers are not being properly compensated for the content they generate.

“The News Media Houses are completely kept in the dark on the total advertising revenue collected by Google and what actual percentage of the advertising revenue is being transferred to media organizations. The European Publishers Council had also filed a competition complaint against Google alleging that Google has achieved end to end control of the ad tech value chain, thus abusing its dominant position,” the statement released on Friday said.

The society has also alleged that Google’s parent company Alphabet Inc, along with Google LLC, Google India Private Limited, Google Ireland Limited, and Google Asia Pacific Pvt Ltd are “abusing their dominant position related to News Referral Services and Google Ad Tech Services in the Indian online news media market, which is in violation of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002”.

The complaint echoes a case heard earlier this year by the CCI, where the Digital News Publishers Association, which comprises the digital arms of some of India’s biggest media companies, stated Google denied fair advertising revenue to its members.

News organizations, which have been losing advertising revenue to online aggregators such as Google, have complained for years about tech companies using stories in search results or other features without payment.

Google has had previous run-ins with Indian competition authorities, including accusations over the company’s Android operating system, claiming the company was using its “huge financial muscle” to illegally hurt competitors,

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