Google gives guarantees to the German competition policeman – ICT news

The American giant Google has offered to exclude its news service “Google News Showcase” from the results of its search platform in Germany, in order to end an investigation by anti-cartel authorities seized by press publishers, have- they stated on Wednesday.

“Google has taken steps to address the concerns we have expressed (…) The integration of Showcase content into the general search bar is no longer on the agenda,” said Andras Mundt, president of the competition policeman in a press release. The “Google News Showcase” service, launched in December 2020 in Germany, allows partner media to be paid for content relayed by Google on a dedicated platform.

The American giant planned to integrate this new platform into the results of its main search bar, which would have resulted in increasing its audience. The anti-cartel office had, following this announcement, opened an investigation, after it was seized by the German publisher Corint Medias, which manages the rights of German radio stations, television and news websites. The publisher feared the disappearance of media referencing that had not signed agreements with Google. “The Google News Showcase service and its integration into (…) Google’s search engine, is clearly designed to focus users’ attention on this new information service (…) and its press content” , he indicated. “Google’s quasi-monopolistic position in the search engine market is thus abused to the detriment of publishers who do not participate in this service”, according to the publisher.

Another part of the case was the question of whether press publishers who signed up with Google could assert all of their neighboring rights to copyright, which Google also accepted, according to the anti-cartel office. . Finally, the American giant assured that access to its service would be made according to “objective” criteria, and would not discriminate against publishers according to other criteria, in particular financial. Asked by AFP, Google did not immediately comment on these developments. From now on, the Office will consult the “players of the publishing sector” to determine whether it accepts Google’s proposals, in exchange for the abandonment of these proceedings. This announcement comes a few days after the decision of the competition policeman to consider Google as a company with “significant importance on the markets”, allowing for increased surveillance in terms of competition law.

“Google has taken steps to address the concerns we have expressed (…) The integration of Showcase content into the general search bar is no longer on the agenda,” said Andras Mundt, president of the competition policeman in a press release. The “Google News Showcase” service, launched in December 2020 in Germany, allows partner media to be paid for content relayed by Google on a dedicated platform. The American giant planned to integrate this new platform into the results of its main search bar, which would have resulted in increasing its audience. The anti-cartel office had, following this announcement, opened an investigation, after it was seized by the German publisher Corint Medias, which manages the rights of German radio stations, television and news websites. The publisher feared the disappearance of media referencing that had not signed agreements with Google. “The Google News Showcase service and its integration into (…) Google’s search engine, is clearly designed to focus users’ attention on this new information service (…) and its press content” , he indicated. “Google’s quasi-monopolistic position in the search engine market is thus abused to the detriment of publishers who do not participate in this service”, according to the publisher. Another part of the case was the question of whether press publishers who signed up with Google could assert all of their neighboring rights to copyright, which Google also accepted, according to the anti-cartel office. . Finally, the American giant assured that access to its service would be made according to “objective” criteria, and would not discriminate against publishers according to other criteria, in particular financial. Asked by AFP, Google did not immediately comment on these developments. From now on, the Office will consult the “players of the publishing sector” to determine whether it accepts Google’s proposals, in exchange for the abandonment of these proceedings. This announcement comes a few days after the decision of the competition policeman to consider Google as a company with “significant importance on the markets”, allowing for increased surveillance in terms of competition law.

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