The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has gone after Google again for allegedly abusing its dominant position in the country. A probe has been ordered against Google to ensure that the search-engine giant is not creating an unfair competition environment.
As per PTI, CCI said that it is important that there is a fair share of revenues amongst all the stakeholders in the news media industry. The competition regulator wants to ensure that the digital gatekeeper firms are not abusing their dominant position to harm the competitive process.
Google Has Violated Provisions of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 – CCI
The Competition Commission of India (CCI) said that it is of the prima facie view that Google has violated provisions of Section 4 of the Competition Act, 2002 which pertains to abuse of dominant position.
The order arrived after a complaint from the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) was filed. DNPA is a body that looks after the interests of all digital news publishers.
As per the complaint filed, Google is the source for most of the traffic on the news websites. The complaint said that more than 50% of the traffic comes from Google Search and it is the most dominant search engine.
Further, Google is a major stakeholder in the advertising space. But the issue is, it unilaterally decides the amount of revenues that will be paid to the publishers and also sets the terms and conditions around how and when the payment will be made.
DNPA said that its members have to suffer a loss of advertising revenues and they also don’t have the power to bargain a fair share despite generating credible news. The complaint mentioned that a lack of transparency in online digital advertising makes it difficult for the publishers to audit and verify the ad revenue.
CCI said that a detailed investigation in this is merited as there is an imbalance in the bargaining power and an unfair sharing of advertising revenues.