News & Opinion

EU publishers object to Google's antitrust settlement

Hundreds of newspaper and magazine publishers call on the European Commission to reject Google's draft antitrust settlement.

The proposed settlement, which if accepted would end Brussels' three year investigation into how Google presents its search results, would see Google labelling preferred links to its own sites in search results and giving websites the option to block Google searches.

Many publishers are unhappy with the way that Google uses information from their sites in search results without payment, yet by removing themselves from  Google search their sites would become a lot less accessible to readers.

Instead publishers want there to be a wider range of options available as to how Google can use their content, whilst Google contrastingly argue that tighter regulations than those already proposed would stunt advancement and innovation in developing online search systems.

Luis Enríquez, president of the Spanish association of daily newspaper publishers said: “Google’s proposed remedies do not address the overarching problems and fundamental harms that Google’s conduct causes in search-related markets and none of them aims at restoring effective competition. Instead the proposed remedies place minor constraints on Google that would, at best, modestly alter its behavior but which, in practice, have no effect on the structure of the market.”

In similar news Google has recently had to change how it operates in Germany due to new copyright legislation in the country which limits the amount of news content freely available to internet aggregators to a snippet. In response Google has changed it's news search system from an 'opt-out' to an 'opt-in' set up, where publishers have to sign up to an index if they want their site to be included in Google News searches.

Source: Financial Times


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