CCI orders probe into Google’s alleged breach of anti-trust laws

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) on Friday ordered an investigation into Alphabet’s Google following allegations from news publishers, saying that its initial view was that the tech giant had broken some antitrust laws. 

In its order, the competition watchdog said that Google dominated certain online search services in the country and might have imposed unfair conditions on news publishers. 

Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The complainant, Digital News Publishers Association, which comprises the digital arms of some of India’s biggest media companies, said that Google denied fair advertising revenue to its members. 

“In a well-functioning democracy, the critical role played by news media cannot be undermined,” the CCI order said. “It appears that Google is using its dominant position in the relevant markets to enter/protect its position in the market for news aggregation service.” 

News organisations, 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. 

The CCI order also mentioned new rules in France and Australia - fuelled by media lobbying and public pressure – that have led to licensing deals around the world collectively worth billions of dollars. 

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