Newspaper article International New York Times

Google Tries to Play Nice with E.U. Publishers

Newspaper article International New York Times

Google Tries to Play Nice with E.U. Publishers

Article excerpt

Google's efforts come less than two weeks after the European Commission filed antitrust charges against the company.

Google seems to have a new strategy in Europe: If you do not like the message, try to befriend the messengers.

Less than two weeks after the European Commission filed antitrust charges accusing Google of abusing its dominant position in online search, the company said it would spend 150 million euros, or $164 million, over the next three years to help European publishers and newspapers adapt to the digital world.

And by announcing the plan, the Digital News Initiative, Google was trying to assuage fears from many European newspapers, including Axel Springer of Germany, that the company held too much control over how Europeans gain access to online content, analysts said. Google has a roughly 90 percent market share across the 28-member bloc, more than its stake in the American market.

The creation of Google's program also comes before new potential problems for the company in Europe, including potential changes to Europe's copyright rules. The proposals, which are to be announced on May 6, could force Google and other news aggregators to pay to use online content provided by European publishers.

Just like in the United States, many European newspapers have struggled to change their business models, as print advertising continues to stumble and publishers become increasingly reliant on online traffic, particularly from smartphones. The $164 million fund will allow publishers to bid for grants to create new forms of digital journalism, according to Google. The company also said it would offer training in digital skills for European journalists and help newspapers create products aimed at increasing online revenue.

As part of the new program, Google said it would be initially working with The Guardian and The Financial Times in Britain, Die Zeit and FAZ in Germany, Les Echos in France, La Stampa in Italy and NRC Media in the Netherlands.

"Over the years, Google's relationship with news and the news industry has often been misunderstood," Carlo D'Asaro Biondo, Google's president of strategic partnerships in Europe, said at a conference in London on Tuesday. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.