News Corp. Claims Google News Is An Antitrust Violation In Europe
from the good-luck-with-that-one... dept
With Google already facing antitrust issues in the EU over Android (and likely over search as well), News Corp has decided to pile on and to file a complaint with the EU Commission claiming that Google News is also an antitrust problem.
News Corp is concerned Google reinforces its dominance in general search by “scraping” or copying content from publishers to display the results of news articles, according to the person. News Corp alleges that if the publisher doesn’t want the content to be copied, Google doesn’t show the articles in the results at all, the person said.
That News Corp hates Google is well known. The company’s CEO, Robert Thomson, has a history of barely comprehensible anti-Google rants, based on a confused (i.e. wrong) understanding of how the internet works. Thomson keeps claiming that Google is “stealing” News Corp content by linking people to it and sending the company traffic.
And, again, that seems to be the basis of the complaint here as well. It’s difficult to parse what the complaint even means. News Corp “is concerned Google reinforces its dominance in general search by “scraping” or copying content from publishers to display the results of news articles….” Huh? Google indexes the web. That’s what it does. That’s how search engines work. Is News Corp trying to argue that indexing the internet is illegal? Really? And the fact that it’s built a specialized news service — how is that a problem?
And then the complaint seems to flip over into a complaint that Google doesn’t do enough: “News Corp alleges that if the publisher doesn’t want the content to be copied, Google doesn’t show the articles in the results at all.” Um, okay. If you don’t want Google to index your content, then how can it show the articles in the results? It doesn’t have the information to do so.
So what is News Corp’s complaint here? First it’s that Google indexes their content… and then they complain that if Google doesn’t index their content, they won’t show up in search results. This makes no sense at all.
Of course, that’s because we know what the real complaint here is: News Corp wants Google to give it money. Whatever you might think of the EU’s antitrust case against Google in other areas, this argument seems particularly ridiculous and just seems like Thomson and Rupert Murdoch’s sour grapes over the fact that Google is a successful company.