Antitrust watchdog probes Google Italy

Aug 27, 2009

(AP) -- Italy's antitrust watchdog is investigating allegations that Google Italy is discriminating against newspapers that don't want their content linked on Google's news site by dropping them from its search engine.

The Italian authority monitoring markets and competitions said in a statement that it was looking into whether Google might have an unfair advantage in reaping online advertising.

Italy's financial police conducted an inspection Thursday of Google Italy's offices, the antitrust authority said.

The Italian Federation of Publishers has complained that Google is "allegedly hindering publishers in freely choosing ways of allowing use of news published on their own Internet sites," it said.

The publishers contend that the "editorial sites that don't want to appear on (Italia), would be automatically excluded from Google's search engine," the antitrust authority said.

A Google Italy spokeswoman, Simona Panseri, declined to comment on the specifics of the allegations while the antitrust investigation is being conducted.

But, speaking in general, Panseri contended that a "request to be excluded from Google News doesn't imply being excluded" from Google's search engine.

The publishers contend that having some of their newspapers' content appear on Google News Italia would hurt the online newspapers in attracting users and advertising on their own home pages, the antitrust statement said.

But Google contended in a statement that Google News "drives significant traffic and new readers" to newspaper web sites.

Readers who click on headlines posted on Google News Italia site are linked directly to the newspapers' site, where they can read the full story.

The Italian newspaper publishers' complaint reflects a common claim elsewhere that Google News is diverting readers away from newspaper home pages, while Google says it ends up increasing the traffic to newspaper Web sites.

As its power has grown, Google has come under increasing scrutiny of antitrust regulators around the world, in particular in the United States.

---

On the Net:

Italia: http://news.google.it/

©2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Explore further: New social networks connect cooks and diners

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Google introduces ads to Google News

Feb 26, 2009

Google has introduced ads to the results of search queries on Google News in a move aimed at turning the news aggregation site into a money-making venture that may raise the hackles of newspapers and other ...

Google News launches Twitter feed

Apr 28, 2009

Google News, the news aggregation site run by the Internet search giant announced the launch of the @googlenews Twitter feed in a post on the Google News blog on Monday.

Google digging deeper to improve search results (Update)

May 13, 2009

(AP) -- Google Inc. is about to add more features to its already dominant Internet search engine - and some of the changes could give Web surfers less reason to click through to other sites. That scenario ...

Recommended for you

Brazil passes trailblazing Internet privacy law

11 hours ago

Brazil's Congress on Tuesday passed comprehensive legislation on Internet privacy in what some have likened to a web-user's bill of rights, after stunning revelations its own president was targeted by US ...

Research shows impact of Facebook unfriending

Apr 22, 2014

Two studies from the University of Colorado Denver are shedding new light on the most common type of `friend' to be unfriended on Facebook and their emotional responses to it.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Amazon Prime wins streaming deal with HBO

Amazon scored a deal Wednesday to distribute old shows from premium cable TV channel HBO to its monthly Prime subscribers, landing a blow on rival Netflix in the streaming video battle.

Is nuclear power the only way to avoid geoengineering?

"I think one can argue that if we were to follow a strong nuclear energy pathway—as well as doing everything else that we can—then we can solve the climate problem without doing geoengineering." So says Tom Wigley, one ...