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August 27, 2009

Italian antitrust regulator launches probe on Google’s news search

For allegedly discriminating Italian newspapers

By CBR Staff Writer

Italian antitrust regulator has launched an investigation into Google Italy after local newspapers complained that the search engine company is discriminating against newspapers that don’t want their content to be linked to the Google’s news site.

The Italian regulator said that the Italian Federation of Newspaper Editors had complained that any news company that opts out of the Google News site would be excluded from the search engine. Reportedly, this could distort the online advertising market.

Josh Cohen, senior business product manager at Google News said in a blog post that, the news providers, like any website publisher, are in complete control when it comes to whether they want their content to be found on Google services. They can be removed, or can opt to continue to appear on Google web search, but not on Google News.

Mr Cohen stated: “We respect the wishes of content owners, which is why we’ve made it easy to opt out of our services. However, when it comes to Google News, we have far more requests for inclusion than for removal. That’s because publishers understand that the traffic generated by Google News, and services like it, provide valuable traffic: Google News sends over 1 billion clicks per month to news publishers.

“We’ll continue to work with all web sites and news publishers to help more people discover their content – and for those that don’t want to appear in Google or Google News, we’ll continue to honour those requests as we always have.”

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