Google is very much in the regulatory crosshairs, in India. The Competition Commission of India (CCI), the antitrust regulator’s recent order for a probe into the Google News platform practices, is the fifth such investigation opened into the tech behemoth’s practices in the country.
Under scrutiny are products, services and policies, such as how the company allows purchases on its Play Store, its efforts to promote Google Pay, its licensing deals for Android TV and the perceived dominance of Android, which is seen to have restricted competition as well as choice for users. CCI has already fined Google ₹135.86 crore in 2018 for bias in Search results, a space where the tech giant is the leader globally.
The news problem
The latest investigation is on how Google runs News, an aggregation service deeply embedded within Google Discover and Google Search platforms on phones and PCs.
The Digital News Publishers Association (DNPA), which includes the digital arms of India’s biggest media houses (including Hindustan Times), has raised concerns regarding the opaqueness of the algorithms that determine which news website gets more visitors (that result in clicks) from search results and has questioned unilateral decisions on revenue sharing with publishers, whose snippets are often used in News and Search to enrich results.
“As DNPA, we are very grateful to CCI that they have taken up the matter and we are confident that the justice will be served,” Sujata Gupta, secretary…