Are you afraid of google


The CEO of Axel Springer, Mathias Döpfner, sees the growing power of the Internet group Google with concern. Google represents a "global network monopoly" without there being any transparent and fair criteria in dealing with competitors, wrote Döpfner in an open letter to Google's board of directors Eric Schmidt. The text was published in the "Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung".

Döpfner is responding to a guest article by Schmidt, also in the "FAZ", in which the Google manager had advertised extensive cooperation among German publishers a week ago. Schmidt had repeatedly referred to a partnership with Springer-Verlag for automated advertising marketing.

One could call the cooperation between Springer and Google "schizophrenic", wrote Döpfner. "Or liberal. Or, and that is the truth, to use one of our Chancellor's favorite words: no alternative." Springer does not know of any alternative that offers even remotely comparable technological prerequisites for automated advertising marketing. "And we cannot do without this source of income because we urgently need the money for future technological investments."

In the letter, Döpfner also turned against Google's handling of the offers of the competition, which also include subsidiaries of Springer Verlag. Google identifies its own products better than those of its competitors when it comes to online searches. The European Commission is not up to this problem. Google wants to establish a "supra-state", its power also affects the future of Europe. In his contribution, Döpfner admitted that, like many other media companies, he was "afraid of Google".

The background to the exchange of blows is the ancillary copyright (LSR) for press publishers in Germany. The LSR was passed a year ago after a controversial debate in the Bundestag and came into force on August 1, 2013. It enables publishers to charge a license fee for publishing newspaper articles on the web. However, search engines are allowed to use "individual words and the smallest text excerpts" without a license.

The practical implementation of the LSR is now pending for the publishers. It is expected that the collecting society VG Media commissioned by Springer, Burda and other publishers will publish a tariff for the use of publisher content in offers such as Google News in the foreseeable future. Google strictly rejects license fees for publishing content from newspaper articles on the Internet. (dpa / tc)