Dispute over news offer: Google approaches the cartel office

As of: January 12th, 2022 2:37 p.m.

Google has submitted a list of concessions in order to dispel the Federal Cartel Office’s concerns about its Google News Showcase news offering. The competition watchdog is now checking whether the proposals are sufficient.

By Bärbel Langkopf, WDR

Google plans to no longer include the Showcase news offering in general Google search. Via the Google news offer, content from press publishers is particularly highlighted in the online search: on Google News and on Google Discover.

The Federal Cartel Office will now examine Google’s proposals. The publishing industry is called in for this and statements are obtained from, among others, the complainant Corint Media.

Antitrust Office President Mundt on the Google announcement

“Google has assured measures with which it will react to our expressed competition concerns at Google News Showcase. The integration of the showcase contents into the general search is no longer planned. The conditions for participation in Google News Showcase are intended to assert general ancillary copyrights the press publisher does not hinder. Access to Google News Showcase is based on factual criteria. “

Andreas Mundt, President of the Federal Cartel Office

Proceedings initiated in summer 2021

The competition authority took action because it feared that Google would prefer its own content in online searches or even hinder the offers of the competition. It also checks what the press publishers’ access to the News Showcase actually looks like and whether it can actually be used in a non-discriminatory manner.

The Federal Cartel Office is also monitoring Google’s negotiations with publishers and collecting societies about how the use of the publisher’s content should be paid for in the future. In June 2021, the Federal Cartel Office initiated proceedings against Google to investigate Google News Showcase in response to a complaint from the collecting society Corint Media.

Corint Media now welcomed the Federal Cartel Office’s approach. If there is no longer a connection between the showcase display and the Google search, the offer is not attractive either to the US group or to publishers. In this way, contrary to what was feared, Google could not make the publishing offers permanently dispensable. “But it is even more important for us that the office generally expands the procedure to include the unfair market abuse of the publishers in the licensing of ancillary copyrights,” explained Corint Media.

Google wants to dispel competition concerns from the Federal Cartel Office

Bärbel Langkopf, WDR, January 12th, 2022 1:13 p.m.

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