The National Competition Market Commission (CNMC) has initiated a disciplinary file against Google and its parent company Alphabet for restrictive practices of competition that would affect publishers of press publications and Spanish news agencies, as reported Tuesday in a statement.

Specifically, these are practices that are explicitly prohibited by Articles 2 and 3 of Law 15/2007, of July 3, on the Defense of Competition (LDC) and Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU) (S/0013/22).

On the one hand, the CNMC investigates a series of practices that "could involve an abuse of Google's dominant position with respect to publishers of press publications and news agencies established in Spain," explains the Commission. In particular, these practices would consist of the possible imposition of unfair commercial conditions on publishers of press publications and news agencies established in Spain for the exploitation of their content protected by intellectual property rights.

On the other hand, the conduct investigated would also include practices that would constitute acts of unfair competition that could distort free competition with an impact on the public interest. "These practices could infringe the third paragraph of article 129 bis of Royal Legislative Decree 1/1996, of April 12, which approves the revised text of the Intellectual Property Law, and could involve the exploitation of the situation of economic dependence on Google in which the publishers of press publications and news agencies established in Spain would be found, ", Explain.

The CNMC has opened this file following the receipt of a complaint by the Spanish Center for Reprographic Rights (CEDRO).

In view of that complaint and the information collected in the context of the confidential information phase, the Competition Directorate of the CNMC considers that there are reasonable indications of the commission, by Google, of possible infringements of Articles 2 and 3 of the LDC, as well as Article 102 TFEU.

The initiation of this case does not prejudge the final outcome of the investigation. A maximum period of 18 months is now opened for the investigation of the file and for its resolution by the CNMC.

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