India’s competition watchdog on Friday ordered an investigation into Alphabet’s Google following allegations from news publishers, saying its initial view was that the tech giant had broken some antitrust laws.
Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The complainant, the Digital News Publishers Association, which includes the digital branches of some of India’s largest media companies, said that Google denied fair advertising revenue to its members.
“In a well functioning democracy, the vital role played by the news media cannot be underestimated,” the CCI order said. “It appears that Google is using its dominant position in relevant markets to register/protect its position in the market for the news aggregation service.”
News organizations that have been losing ad revenue to online aggregators like Google have complained for years about tech companies using stories in search results or other features without payment.
The CCI order also referred to new rules in Australia and France – driven by media lobbying and public pressure – that have collectively led to billions of dollars in license deals around the world.
© Thomson Reuters 2021
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