European Publishers To Sue Google For Monopolistic Practices says French Report
According to Satellinet, a well-respected online media newsletter in France, the Open Internet Project (OIP), a trade body representing a great number of signifiant European media companies in the print and music industries, is about to announce that they are suing Google before the European authorities for quasi-monopolistic practices (abus de position dominante). The announcement would come at a press conference tomorrow. (Report in French here.)
The OIP’s membership list, according to Satellinet, is a who’s who of European media companies, including a great many print and television companies, and music companies, in France and Germany and other countries. Members include Groupe Lagardère, the media conglomerate that owns Hachette and Elle magazine and many other properties, and Axel Springer, which owns Bild, a tabloid newspaper with the biggest circulation in Europe, and a number of successful online properties.
The European media companies are reportedly unhappy with the decision reached by EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia in the ongoing dispute between Google and Europe’s media companies, and this is why they have decided to step up their offensive. The group might even ask for a break up of Google’s operations, as was contemplated for Microsoft back in the day. The OIP’s initiative has the backing of France’s truculent economy minister, Arnaud Montebourg, who has been known to rail against US investment in Europe and against technology innovation.
I have been unable to independently confirm the report, but there it is. If you speak French, go ahead and read Satellinet’s full report here.
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