India Goes After Google Over News Publications

India’s competition watchdog on Friday, January 7, ordered an investigation into Alphabet’s Google following allegations from news publishers, stating its initial view was that the tech giant had broken some antitrust laws.

In its order, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) stated Google dominates certain online search services in the country and may have imposed unfair conditions on news publishers, reported Reuters.

The complainant, 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.

“In a well-functioning democracy, the critical role played by news media cannot be undermined,” the CCI order stated. “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 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.

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

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.