Among others, it was alleged that Google exploited the dependency of the members on the search engine offered by Google for referral-traffic to build services such as Google News, Google Discover and Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP). The search engine major provides news content to user through Google Search and through news aggregator vertical, Google News.
According to the complaint, in Google Search, users can either search directly for news through News Tab or receive news through result in SERPs. Google incorporated news content in its SERPs through featured snippets including ‘Top Stories’ carousels. However, the revenue distributed by Google to news publishers doesn’t compensate for the real contribution made by the association’s members to these platforms, it added.
In a four-page order, dated October 6 and released on Friday, CCI said the allegations are substantially the same as that of the matter which is already being probed by the regulator. CCI has directed the DG to club the matters and submit a consolidated investigation report. Cases where there is prima-facie evidence of violation of competition norms are referred by CCI to its investigation arm DG for a detailed probe.
The complaint has been 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 private news and current affairs broadcasters and digital news media entities as its members. CNBC TV18