Robert Thomson, CEO at News Corp -- the publishing company that owns The Times, The Sun, and The Wall Street Journal -- wrote a letter to the European Commission urging regulators to reconsider their settlement with the Mountain View, Calif. company. He suggests the "shinning vision of Google's founders" was replaced by a "cynical management" that abuses its dominance in Internet search and stifles competition.
In the letter addressed to Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, Thomson calls Google a "platform for piracy" because it aggregates content from media sites, and urges the EU to take a tougher approach. He also accuses Google of taking unfair advantage of its ability to sell advertising targeting specific audiences at discounted rates, undermining the ability of some publishers to generate advertising revenue, per the BBC.
The letter also suggests readers have been "socialized into accepting this egregious aggregation as the norm." As the BBC points out, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt has argued that people looking for specific news from a media site will pull up a browser and type the name of the media company into the URL. Google is not the gateway to the Internet, but rather directs people to the correct content. Newspapers, he claims, get most of their traffic directly.
Google also has been accused of promoting its own services at the expense of others, such as Microsoft, since 2010. The settlement would allow Google to avoid a fine of up to $5 billion and require the company to more prominently display rival links, per reports.
The Guardian reports that Google's proposed settlement would have allowed rival services to buy spaces at the top of search-results pages. We all know what that's called.