(Reuters) – Spain’s competition watchdog CNMC has opened a disciplinary case against Google for alleged anti-competitive practices affecting publishers and Spanish news agencies, the regulator said on Tuesday.
CNMC said it was investigating whether Google had abused its dominant position in the Spanish market. The proceedings involve Google LLC, Google Ireland Ltd, Google Spain, S.L. and their parent Alphabet Inc.
The alleged practices also include distorting free competition and imposing unfair conditions on press publishers and Spanish news agencies, CNMC said.
“We will analyse the details of this case and address any questions that the CNMC may have,” a spokesperson for Google Spain told Reuters, adding that the company “works constructively with publishers”.
The watchdog’s investigation was sparked by a complaint from the Spanish Reproduction Rights Centre (CEDRO).
CNMC will investigate the case over the next 18 months, during which both sides can present their arguments.
(Reporting by Tiago Brandao; Editing by Emma Pinedo and David Goodman)