PUBLISHERS’ REACTION TO ALMUNIA ANNOUNCEMENT ON GOOGLE SETTLEMENT

The European Publishers Council (EPC) that represents the leaders of Europe’s major press publishing companies, strongly criticises Competition Commissioner Almunia’s announcement yesterday that he is to settle the anti-trust case with Google, despite the search giant’s refusal to address blatant anti-competitive practices.

This appears to be a precipitate decision, apparently as yet unsupported by a full College (all the Commissioners) vote and Almunia has chosen not to market test Google’s latest proposed remedies – despite this being an option available to him.

EPC Executive Director Angela Mills Wade said: "Although far from final, the decision to proceed on the basis set out today is fundamentally defective.

"Nothing announced today deals with the original abusive practices identified by the Commission. The latest changes offered by Google are trivial and EPC and others have already provided solid evidence that shows how they are ineffective.

"We are raising our concerns about the process and implications of such a package directly with the members of the European Commission before a final decision is taken."

EPC Chairman Francisco Pinto Balsemão said: “The Commission is side-stepping our concerns about the way an abusive monopolist is dictating licensing terms.

"A take it or leave it opt-out rather than the means to agree terms of access to our content is the ultimate predatory practice."

For details of the publishers’ concerns, go to:
http://epceurope.eu/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/20140131_EMMA_ENPA_EPC_PR_Google.pdf