The Competition Commission has ordered another detailed investigation against Google for its alleged unfair profit-sharing terms in connection with news content.
According to the Competition Commission of India (CCI), the case will be held with two other ongoing cases against the major search engine where the allegations are broadly similar.
The latest request came about a complaint filed by the News Broadcasters Authority and the Digital Society.
In January of this year, the CCI ordered an investigation against Google over the complaint filed by the Digital News Publishers Association. Later, the Indian Newspaper Association also filed a similar case and it was filed with the first case.
The agency said in an order issued Friday that the Director General (DG) of the regulator’s investigative arm will submit a consolidated investigation report.
The Association of News Broadcasters and the Digital Association claimed that its members are forced to submit their news content to Google in order to prioritize their web links on Google’s search engine results page (SERP). As a result, Google is browsing for free members’ content without giving them adequate compensation, according to the complaint.
Among other things, Google allegedly exploited members’ dependency on Google’s search engine for referral traffic to build services such as Google News, Google Discover, and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP).
The main search engine provides news content to the user through Google search and through the vertical news aggregator, Google News.
According to the complaint, in Google Search, users can either search directly for news through the News Tab or receive news through results in SERPs. Google has integrated news content into its SERPs through featured snippets including Top Stories carousels.
She added that the revenue that Google distributes to news publishers does not compensate for the real contribution that members of the association make to these platforms.
In a four-page order, dated October 6 and issued on Friday, CCI said the allegations were largely the same as those related to the matter already being investigated by the regulator.
The CCI directed the general manager to the club on the matters and to submit a consolidated investigation report.
The CCI refers cases where there is prima facie evidence of competition rules violation to the investigative arm DG for a detailed investigation.
The complaint is filed against Alphabet Inc, Google LLC, Google India Pvt Ltd, Google Ireland Ltd and Google Asia Pacific Pte Ltd. The association consists of national and regional news and current affairs broadcasters and digital media entities as its members.