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Old 01-19-2010, 10:57 PM   #1
luag
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Post German Publishers Go After Google...

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German Publishers Go After Google; Apparently Very Confused About How The Internet Works
from the welcome-to-online dept

It looks like Germany may be a new front in clueless attacks on Google. With newspapers and magazines admitting that they're too clueless to know what to do with traffic Google sends them, officials in Germany are opening an antitrust investigation into Google based on some of the most ridiculous logic we've heard to date:
Hans-Joachim Fuhrmann, a spokesman for the German Newspaper Publishers Association, said the Web sites of all German newspapers and magazines together made 100 million euros, or $143 million, in ad revenue, while Google generated 1.2 billion euros from search advertising in Germany.

"Google says it brings us traffic, but the problem is that Google earns billions, and we earn nothing," Mr. Fuhrmann said.
Okay. Let's pick apart this apples and oranges comparison. First off, Google earns 1.2 billion euros from search advertising which has almost nothing to do with news. It comes from people searching for cameras or cribs or cars. Google News had no advertising at all for most of its existence and only introduced ads in the US less than a year ago. In other words, no, Google is not making more than newspapers and magazines when it comes to its News site in Germany.

And, even if Google was making more money (which, again, there's no evidence that this is true), that still doesn't excuse Fuhrmann's claims -- which basically amount to him admitting that Google figured out how to make money and the companies he represents did not. Yet the publishers he represents had all of the advantages in the world. They were local. Google was not. They had been around for many more years than Google. They had brand recognition and loyalty that Google did not. Furhmann is basically admitting what a colossal failure the companies he represents have been. They failed to capitalize on a huge opportunity. And now, when Google sends them traffic, they are still failing to use that traffic wisely. And then they blame Google for it? Wow.
continued here:
http://www.techdirt.com/articles/201...33277814.shtml

Last edited by Nate the great; 01-19-2010 at 11:01 PM.
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Old 01-20-2010, 01:56 AM   #2
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I hate to admit that I'm German too, but after beeing away for 3 years from Germany, I somekind have a different look on Germany. I pretty much think that this really reflects German behaviour :-(
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Old 01-20-2010, 02:52 AM   #3
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The cited article is wrong. Yes, the publishers complained about Google, though the antitrust investigation is only about Google<->Ciao<->Microsoft and has *nothing* to do with the complaint made by the german news publishers.

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Originally Posted by Mike_73 View Post
I hate to admit that I'm German too
I've no problem to admit that i'm german too. In germany the publishers are odd, in other countries other companies/institutions are odd too.

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I pretty much think that this really reflects German behaviour :-(
No it doesn't. Please don't condemn germans wholesale. That's another topic anyway...
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Old 01-20-2010, 03:11 AM   #4
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Well, it wasn't meant wholesale, but according to my conception, jealousy is a very big thing here. I don't say everyone, but compared to other countries, it's much bigger.
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Old 01-20-2010, 05:09 AM   #5
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Quote:
The cited article is wrong. Yes, the publishers complained about Google, though the antitrust investigation is only about Google<->Ciao<->Microsoft and has *nothing* to do with the complaint made by the german news publishers.
Have to agree with netseeker there. The article apparently mixes up different subjects.

Mind you: It's defenitely true that Google has been singled out by the people who are at the helm in the publishing-lobby-business here in Europe.

Google provides a nice big target the man/woman in the street can recognize and relate to. And the lobbyists find open ears with the governments in Germany or France (remember the french presidents new idea of a special tax on transnational-web-advertizing-revenue ?) because it concerns a sector of policy-making which doesn't require additional spending. It goes like: Look at us, we are actively protecting our local homegrown businesses and jobs against a foreign big bad foe. At no cost for us here. Aren't we great? Happens everywhere, by the way.

Quote:
German Publishers Go After Google; Apparently Very Confused About How The Internet Works
At least the title of the thread seems to be true with many german publishers. But they are learning.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:34 AM   #6
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Yup, I'm german too and the publishers are just greedy bastards.

Code:
robots.txt:

User-agent: *
Disallow: /
Problem solved, Google will never again show their newspapers articles in Google News.
But of course they'd never do that because half their visits arrived on the page via Google.
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Old 01-20-2010, 10:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by netseeker View Post
The cited article is wrong. Yes, the publishers complained about Google, though the antitrust investigation is only about Google<->Ciao<->Microsoft and has *nothing* to do with the complaint made by the german news publishers.
Would you like to explain to the audience why you think you know more than all these guys?


BTW, the article gets even better.

Quote:
In its complaint, Euro-Cities reportedly objects to Google’s practice of offering free online mapping services.
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Old 01-21-2010, 04:03 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CleverClothe View Post
Would you like to explain to the audience why you think you know more than all these guys?
She doesn't. The NY Times article that is currently the second result in that search makes it relatively clear what is going on: There are several antitrust complaints against Google (the NYT article says they're related, but I don't really see how, since they're all about different things):
- one from the newspaper and magazine publishers for Google using snippets of their articles in displaying the search results, which might be going beyond fair use (which I would guess is where the complaint is coming from),
- another from Ciao, which looks more like a contract dispute, frankly,
- a third one from that mapping company, which is probably about Google having earned so much money from their ad business that they can afford to cross-subsidize their other services, thus offering them for free when other, smaller companies offering competing services can't afford to do so. Again, the issue here probably isn't directly that Google is offering stuff for free, but that it is cross-subsidizing it, which, depending on what the anti-trust laws look like, may or may not be illegal. I know for a fact that some forms of cross-subsidizing are illegal in Germany, for example, so they might actually have a leg to stand on. But IANAL and all that.
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Old 01-21-2010, 05:55 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CleverClothe View Post
Would you like to explain to the audience why you think you know more than all these guys?
Because i've read the official statement of the german antitrust division. (Reuters as well as dpa published it).

Basically the official statement announces: Yes there were three complaints (two of them were made by Ciao and the german publishers), though currently we (german antitrust division) opened a official antitrust investigation only regarding Google's business practices against Ciao.

I guess the antitrust division itself is the best source for informations regarding the antitrust investigation.
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Old 01-22-2010, 01:49 AM   #10
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Because i've read the official statement of the german antitrust division. (Reuters as well as dpa published it).

Basically the official statement announces: Yes there were three complaints (two of them were made by Ciao and the german publishers), though currently we (german antitrust division) opened a official antitrust investigation only regarding Google's business practices against Ciao.

I guess the antitrust division itself is the best source for informations regarding the antitrust investigation.
Thank you for a link, but that says nothing about the German publishers. Unless Google Translate is "censoring" the article.

The TechDirt article (and a few others) appears to be wrong (there is only one investigation, related to Ciao). But the NYT and other articles appear to be right, there have been complaints filed by the German publishers.
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Old 01-22-2010, 02:11 AM   #11
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Quote:
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Thank you for a link, but that says nothing about the German publishers. Unless Google Translate is "censoring" the article.
The google translation looks indeed a little bit odd. Unfortunately the german antitrust division hasn't published a english press release yet.

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But the NYT and other articles appear to be right, there have been complaints filed by the German publishers.
Yes, unfortunately they filed that silly complaint. Stubborn little minds who just try to get a piece of googles pie. Raising a complaint is easier than modifying their obsolete business models.
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