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India Launch World’s Largest Antitrust Investigation Into Google

Indian is one of the largest markets in the world, so a current antitrust investigation by its watchdog is terrible news for Google, as the country’s Digital News Publishers Association filed a series of complaint against the tech giant.

They allege that Google is “abusing” its dominance in search results to effectively control news outlets, imposing unfair restrictions.

“The allegations of the informant, when seen in this vertically integrated ecosystem operated by Google, makes it prima facie appear that news publishers have no choice but to accept the terms and conditions imposed by Google,” the Competition Commission of India said.

“Google appears to operate as a gateway between various news publishers on the one hand and news readers on the other. Another alternative for the news publisher is to forgo the traffic generated by Google for them, which would be unfavourable to their revenue generation.”

“It has also been averred that the terms of the agreements entered between the members of the Informant [news publishers] and the OPs [Google and its subsidiaries] for sharing the advertisement revenues are unilaterally and arbitrarily dictated by the OPs, and the members of the Informant have no other option but to accept the terms, as they are, with no bargaining power whatsoever,” the watchdog explained in its 21-page filing.

“The only alternate to the AMP system is for publishers to subscribe with Google, which benefits Google, to the detriment of the publishers.”

Google has not responded to the charges.

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