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News Corp files complaint against Google’s story ‘scraping’

Mon 18 Apr 2016

Google News

Rupert Murdoch-owned News Corp has filed a formal complaint against Google, arguing that the tech giant copies content from other sites and leverages its dominance to promote its own news search results.

The U.S. media company filed the complaint today with the European Commission (EC), explaining that Google was unfairly handling its news service, taking advantage of its market position and bullying news outlets to comply with its rules.

The EC has confirmed that the complaint was received and that the organisation was assessing it immediately.

According to News Corp publication the Wall Street Journal, the media group opines that Google is using its online dominance to copy other publishers’ content without clearly linking to the corresponding source. News Corp added that Google uses its influence to force media companies to give legal consent for the internet firm to do so. If the publishers do not comply, their traffic could be negatively affected, and ad revenue hampered.

The news of the complaint comes just after News Corp CEO Robert Thomson met with European Competition Commissioner Facebook Margrethe Vestager to discuss Google’s power over online publications. Thomson stated that he was “yet to see concrete meaningful action” from Google. He continued that this “contradicts our impressions that the company routinely exploits its market dominance and has little appreciation of the commercial or social value of high-quality journalism.”

The Commission is currently in the process of investigating accusations that Google copies online news content, but the organisation is yet to issue any formal charges on the allegations.

Last year, the EC announced that it would be looking into whether Google ‘has hindered the development and market access of rival mobile operating systems, mobile communication applications and services in the European Economic Area (EEA).’

Today, it was confirmed that Vestager is continuing to pile the pressure in the ongoing probe into Google’s Android mobile OS. In a speech earlier this morning in the Netherlands, she explained that her team was closely examining Google contracts with representatives of the mobile industry to asses concerns around pre-load app requirements it places on its partners.

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