India’s Competition Commission (ICC), the country’s top competition regulator, has ordered an investigation into ‘abuse of dominance’ by tech giant Google, the Indian Newspaper Society (INS) said in a statement.
The INS called for a fair value for content hosted on Google, saying news publishers aren’t being properly compensated for the content they generate.
“News media houses are kept completely in the dark about the total ad revenue collected by Google and the actual percentage of ad revenue transferred to media organizations. The European Publishers Council has also filed a competition complaint against Google alleging that Google has obtained end-to-end control of the advertising technology value chain, thereby abusing its dominant position,” the statement released on Friday read.
The company also alleged that Google’s parent company, Alphabet Inc, as well as Google LLC, Google India Private Limited, Google Ireland Limited and Google Asia Pacific Pvt Ltd “abuse of their dominant position related to news indexing services and services Google Ad Tech in the Indian online news media market, which violates Section 4 of the Competition Act 2002”.
Article 4 of the law refers to the abuse of a dominant position by a company which imposes a discriminatory access to the market, or limits or restricts.
“The INS has highlighted the fact that producers/publishers of information made available in digital format are not compensated fairly for their content, despite having invested heavily in creating appropriate content for customers who search for information articles using the Google platform,” the press release reads.
According to the news company, the ICC concluded on a prima facie basis that these “allegations of abuse of dominance fall within the scope of the Competition Act 2002 and require a full investigation by the Chief Executive”.
“The ICC has therefore passed an order to associate the information submitted by the INS with submissions made by the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) which also filed information with the ICC on similar claims,” the statement concludes.
HT contacted Google but did not immediately receive a response.
Along with the INS, the Digital News Publishers Association also petitioned the TCC against Google on similar grounds.
Several countries, including Australia, France and Spain, have already passed legislation requiring tech companies, including Google, to adequately compensate content producers for the use of their content in search results.