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German News Groups, Microsoft Unit File Anti-Trust Complaints Against Google

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It was only last week that Germany’s justice minister suggested Google is becoming “a giant monopoly, similar to Microsoft”. Her comments have now paved the way for a trio of complaints filed to the country’s Federal Cartel Office, Zeit and Deutsche Welle report…

— The Federation of Newspaper Publishers (BDZV) and Association of German Magazine Publishers (VDZ) have complained about that ‘ol chestnut – Google’s use of news article “snippets” in its search results without payment.

— At the same time, price comparison and consumer reviews site Ciao is using a complaint to attempt to undo parts of a contract under which Ciao displays Google (NSDQ: GOOG) AdSense ads. Eleven-year-old Ciao was in 2005 bought by online market research surveys firm Greenfield, which was in 2008 acquired by Microsoft, which itself is trying to build a web ads operation to rival Google’s.

— The unlikeliest of complaints comes from Euro-Cities, an online mapping company that grumbles allowing third-party sites to embed Google Maps for free effectively kills off its own paid services.

Those last two complaints give the issue, combined, extra gravitas, but are individual or contractual issues. Yet the tag-teamed complaint from publishers is more notable…

This is effectively the same kind of case that Belgian newspapers, through their Copiepresse group, won against Google in 2007, forcing it to remove their articles from Google News (it was still seeking

2 Responses to “German News Groups, Microsoft Unit File Anti-Trust Complaints Against Google”

  1. German Newspapers and Magazines first used the internet to get cheap contents and are wondering now that people learned that the original sources mostly originate from the Web and not from their publishers. So eyeballs moved to the web and advertising euros are following. Now they don’t know what to do but blaiming others. It is funny because the German publishers got their right to publish (printing licenses) through the US and UK army in a mombed and divided country after second world war. It was a license to print money as everybody who wanted to be informed or who wanted to advertise had to go to the radical limited amount of publishes papers. So those German publishers (and their families) are all billionaires today and don’t want this to change in the future. That is the reason why they want to stop Googe. Very ironic too: they all meet at http://www.dld-conference.com in Munich end of January – a conference organized by German Media Billionaire Hubert Burda (President of VDZ too).