News: Competition Commission of India has ordered a probe against Google for its ‘alleged’ abuse of dominant position in news aggregation.
This step of Indian government is followed by actions of Australian government. Australia has passed a law that required tech platforms like Google and Facebook to fairly pay local media outlets for showing their content in news feeds or search results.
On the similar lines, France has implemented the EU’s updated copyright rules. These rules require digital platforms to compensate news publishers for previews of news content.
Why Levy on tech giants for using News feeds is justified?
First, an independent and financially viable media is very important for a democracy like India. Google and Facebook take away the 70-80% of advertising revenue that comes from digital consumption of news.
Second, responsibly produced news is important against social media jungle of half-truths, lies, fake content, superstition, manipulation and hate-mongering. Thus, it is important that efforts, of producers of such news, be paid viably.
Third, Tech giants claim providing huge traffic to the news platforms, but it works both ways. Similarly, around 40% of trending queries on Google are news-related, bringing considerable traffic to it.
Source: This post is based on the article “Pay for news: CCI’s Google probe must lead to rules on tech sharing much more revenue with news publishers” published in Times of India on 10th January 2022.