Dozens of German publishers report Google to media regulator

MORE than 40 German publishers have turned to media regulators in a deepening anti-discrimination dispute over the Google News Showcase (GNS) search engine programme.

Since the start of the year, complaints from mainly the local and regional publishers were addressed to the media authority for Hamburg and the state of Schleswig-Holstein, a spokesperson for the body said on Wednesday.

“The publishers complained in particular that their online offerings were inadmissibly discriminated against in terms of access to the GNS.

“In addition, the concrete access conditions to GNS were not disclosed,’’ the spokesperson told dpa.

Google in turn rejected the complaints as inaccurate and said it is making offers to all interested publishers who meet the GNS participation criteria.

So far agreements were signed with more than 30 publishers and 100 publications on GNS in Germany, it said.

The media regulator has requested that the U.S. tech giant provides it with more information.

At the end of 2022, Germany’s Federal Cartel Office concluded antitrust proceedings against Google, saying the company would implement further measures in the coming weeks.

The office does not currently see any need for renewed action on its part but is monitoring developments and could still intercede, a spokesperson told dpa.

The German publishers, however, said they still did not see unhindered access to GNS, especially for their collective association called Corint Media. (dpa/NAN)