Germany probes Google news showcase

Photo: AP

German antitrust body announced it had launched an investigation focused on Google's news showcase platform, Reuters reported. The platform makes possible for the news to appear on Google's website. The option is lucrative for publishers but still the German antitrust body checks whether all publishers have equal possibilities to promote their products. "However, it must be ensured that this does not lead to discrimination between individual publishers," the Competition Committee said in a statement.

''Nor must Google's strong position in access to end customers leads to a crowding out of competing offerings from publishers or other news providers." The Federal Cartel Office will investigate Google in relation to its market power and its handling of user data.

After Facebook and Amazon, this is the third investigation of an American tech company since the amendment to the German competition law came into force. “Due to the large number of digital services such as the search engine, YouTube, Maps, the Android operating system or the Chrome browser, Google is considered to have an overriding importance for competition across markets,” explained Cartel Office President Andreas Mundt. The second legal proceeding examines Google’s handling of user data, in particular, the company’s “strategic advantage” and its “established access to competitively relevant data”.

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