The Federal Cartel Office is expanding its investigation against Google. The authority recently started one process for Google’s market market and one for data processing. The Federal Cartel Office announced that the Google News Showcase offer is now being investigated.
The Google News Showcase started in Germany in October. In cooperation with media companies, Google compiles journalistic articles. Registered readers can read these without a paywall and Google will pay the license fees.
Possible discrimination against publishers
This offer could be for publishers as well as be attractive for consumers, said Andreas Mundt, President of the Federal Cartel Office, according to the press release. But it should not lead to a discrimination between publishers.
Google’s market power should also not lead to offers from publishers or other news providers being suppressed , so Mundt.
Google denies allegations
The background to the proceedings initiated by the Federal Cartel Office is a complaint by Collecting society Corint Media. The company accused Google of exploiting its quasi-monopoly position on the search engine market and of making it impossible for the participating publishers to receive adequate remuneration for their content.
Google Spokesman Kay Oberbeck told dpa that the partners for the showcase were selected according to “objective and non-discriminatory criteria” and that their content was not preferred in the ranking. The Federal Cartel Office will now review the allegations.