German Regulator Rejects German Newspapers' Cynical Attempt To Demand Cash From Google

from the nice-try-but-no dept

Back in June we wrote about the ridiculous and cynical attempt by a number of big German newspaper publishers, in the form of the industry group VG Media, to demand 11% of Google’s gross worldwide revenue on any search that results in Google showing a snippet of their content. We noted the hypocrisy of these publishers seeking to do this while at the same time having done nothing to remove themselves from Google’s search — and, in fact, using Google’s tools to help them rank higher in search results. In other words, these publishers know that ranking high helps them… and yet then still demanded cash on top of that.

VG Media had specifically filed an arbitration request with the German government, but it has now been rejected. And, while German regulators didn’t go so far as to say they found the claim laughable, they did the regulator-speak equivalent:

?Sufficient suspicion is always necessary to initiate an abuse procedure. The complaint from VG Media did not establish this,? Andreas Mundt, president of Germany?s Federal Cartel Office, said in a statement on Friday.

Those poor, poor newspapers will just have to go back to accepting free traffic from Google, via Google News (a site that doesn’t have ads in Germany). Whatever will they do now?

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Companies: google, vg media

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Comments on “German Regulator Rejects German Newspapers' Cynical Attempt To Demand Cash From Google”

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11 Comments
That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

We don’t want to do the work to remain relevant & make money.
Google makes money, so they should just give it to us.

This is the common refrain over and over from legacy companies who still today do everything possible to avoid the basic fact – the world changed and we refused to keep up.

If someone else gives them the tools, they might use them.
If someone else gives them traffic, they might like that.
If someone else is successful, they should have to pay us.

Sadly outside of a few small sphere without much direction to demand change, this is ignored by the masses.
Imagine if Google had just pulled YouTube out of Germany after GEMA’s last stunt. Think the citizens might be curious why? Think they might look at what GEMA is doing and ask why they are actively hurting artists while lining GEMAs pockets (not the artists).

All of these large providers have power to effect change, but none of them seem willing to stop dealing with frivolous lawsuits & proposed laws by taking their ball and walking away. Fighting them in court isn’t standing up to the bullies, turning the very angry public upon them is.

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