Google revenue

Angered by revenue sharing, newscasters drag Google to CCI

News Broadcasters & Digital Association (NBDA) has approached fair trade regulator Competition Commission of India (CCI) against tech giant Alphabet, Inc. and its subsidiaries (Google) alleging anti-competitive practices that violate competition law.

He alleged that revenue shared by Google with news publishers does not offset publisher-generated content on the platform.

Based on this NBDA complaint, the ICC issued an order on Friday and linked the matter to ongoing investigations into similar cases initiated at the request of the Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA) and the Indian Newspaper. Society (INS).

NBDA, in its denunciation before CCI, alleged that its members are compelled to provide their news content to Google in order to prioritize their web links in Google’s Search Engine Result Page (SERP). Thus, Google free-rides on member content.

He also alleged that Google exploited the association members’ reliance on Google’s proposed search engine for referral traffic to create services such as Google News, Google Discover and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages ( AMP), which uses the value of content created by members for its own economic benefit.

The complaint alleges that Google abused its dominant position to dictate the terms and conditions of the agreement’s terms of service, which unilaterally favor Google. Members of the association have no negotiating or bargaining power when striking a deal with Google, as Google’s search engine has 94% market share in the country, the NBDA said.

Ad inventory

The NBDA also alleged that Google is able to abuse its dominant position to prevent its members from routing ad inventory to multiple exchanges and by preferentially routing members’ inventory to Google’s exchange.

Simultaneously, Google used its dominance to force NBDA members to use AMP or lose their rankings in mobile search results, the NBDA said.

Google is accused of using AMP to subvert the income of NBDA members by preventing them from forming a direct relationship with the user, because readers/users spend more time on the Google site, seeing the advertising of Google as opposed to any paid advertising on the content provider’s site. to place.

Anterior probes

The ICC in January of this year ordered an investigation against Google into the complaint filed by the DNPA against Google finding Google At first glance abused its dominant position.

While ordering an investigation, CCI noted in its order that “the Commission also takes note of developments in certain countries such as France and Australia, as indicated by the informant, that Google has been asked to engage fair/good faith negotiations with news publishers for the licensing of paid content to address the imbalance of bargaining power between the two and the resulting imposition of unfair terms by Google. Doubtless Google, being the gateway, generates substantial traffic for news publishers, but at the same time, the imbalance of bargaining power and denial of a fair share of advertising revenue, as alleged by the Informant, deserves detailed investigation….. The investigation by the DG would be able to look at the issues holistically by giving all those affected the opportunity to present their case”.

Subsequently, the INS had also filed a similar dossier which was clubbed with the aforementioned dossier.