Internet giant Google 'abusing its role'
NEWSPAPER publishers have urged the European Commission to halt Google's "anti-competitive activities".
The European Newspaper Publishers Association (ENPA) accused the internet giant of blatant discrimination in ranking its search results.
It urged the commission to ban Google's "preferential treatment of its own services and content".
The group said it was greatly concerned by the Commission Vice President Joaquin Almunia's announcement that he intends to settle an EU antitrust investigation into Google.
It also said it was concerned at his statement that the settlement would be based on a set of commitments proposed by Google.
The association said the proposals were insufficient to end abuse of the search engine's dominant position in the digital market.
ENPA President Ivar Rusdal said the digital press sector's future would be gravely undermined if the European Commission legitimised Google's anti-competitive activities.
"ENPA is therefore urging all European commissioners to ensure that the Commission does not accept the latest commitments proposal," said the group in a statement.
It said this would fail to restore competition and instead strengthen Google's abusive dominance to the detriment of consumers, publishers and businesses in Europe.
The association adopted a resolution yesterday at its General Assembly in Rome urging EU and national governments to recognise fair competition and equal search "as essential for a thriving media market".
It also said a review of the EU copyright framework should not undermine publishers' investment in the press by introducing exceptions to copyright.