CCI Probe on Google

The Competition Commission of India recently ordered an investigation against Google for its dominance in news. Most of the online traffic of news websites come from Google. The accusations made are as follows:

Violation of Law

The Section 4 of Competition Act, 2002, deals with abuse of dominant position. That is no individual business man or entity should misuse its domination in the field. Google is using its dominance in the news genre to intervene advertising plans of the news channels.

Indispensable

According to CCI, Google is protecting its position by mishandling its dominance. Several news channels are dependent on Google for their traffic. This makes Google an indispensable trade partner.

Who filed the complaint?

The complaint against Google was filed by Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA). According to DNPA, Google is holding monopoly. Google makes unilateral decisions about the money paid to the news publishers. The amount is decided based on the traffic. The traffic of sites occurring in first search page is more. And it is Google that decides which website should appear in the first page.

Revenue

Google never shares its revenue generated through advertising on web sites or other news channels. Only a meagre part is displayed.

Publishers Loss

Despite of generating credible news, the news websites face loss of advertising revenue. The advertisers and the news channels have no choice. They will have to accept on Google’s Terms and Condition.

What is the Advertising Issue?

When the user types a word in Google search bar, the search engine lists web pages related to the word. This listing is created based on the algorithm designed by Google. Higher rankings in the listing fetches greater ad revenue for the websites. According to the news websites, Google is not transparent in disclosing the algorithm. None can question Google about this algorithm. The websites have to compulsorily accept to the terms and conditions decided by Google. Therefore, the ad revenue generation of the new websites lies in the hands of Google and not with the company.

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