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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  • icon
    kenichi tanaka (profile), 26 Aug 2014 @ 1:49pm

    Google should just de-list the websites of those newspapers simply for making such a ridiculous demand. I remember the last time this happened that some media organizers were outraged that Google had threatened to delist them and then halted their lawsuit over news snippets being posted on Google.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 26 Aug 2014 @ 5:29pm

    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.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 26 Aug 2014 @ 8:57pm

    *checks previous thread*

    Mr. Oizo, time for you to eat crow.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 26 Aug 2014 @ 10:16pm

    You forgot to mention that the German regulator also hinted at the collusion of publishers possibly being worth investigating itself. LOL!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 27 Aug 2014 @ 3:23am

    Good thing Google doesn't charge them for the privilege of appearing in search results...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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