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Google Bribes, Uhm… Invests, Uh… Takes Care Of, Eh?.. Helps Europe Media!

In an amazing coincidence, Search giant Google offers up €150 million euro and more to "help" European media outlets become more sustainable.. this in advance of a major EU anti-trust case...

This post first appeared on Russia Insider

Just in time for the European Union’s anti-trust case against search giant Google, the Mountain View company announced a groundbreaking (trust cohesive) media “assistance” program worth €150 million euros. According to Germany’s Zeit (THE TIME), Google aims to put in place a so-called “Digital News Initiative” to work hand-in-hand with publishers Zeit, and 7 other major European news players. 

The report from Zeit goes on to spell out just how Google will work with the German political magazine and others to create a more “sustainable model” for developing news. Zeit, along with the Financial Times, the Guardian, Les Echos in France, El Pais in Spain, and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung are the core of an Initiative Committee of eight founding members of the new Google news cadre, cohort, cartel, shoot!... group I mean. However Google and these founders frame the announcement, sane individuals have to asking; "Are you serious?”  

<figcaption>Zeit Online - Google News mashup - Google making controversial moves in the influence space</figcaption>
Zeit Online - Google News mashup - Google making controversial moves in the influence space

€150 million euro. That’s €18.75 million euro each if my math is correct. Where Zeit is concerned, I guess Germany’s most influential online mouthpiece can now “develop in the right way?” My question is How? How should these media outlets adjust their output, their infrastructure, their monetization and business plans to be more sustainable? From my perspective Google has solved the problem with their bank card – instantly! Just do and say what we want, and we give money! Or am I wrong?

Sure Google has done a lot to further technology and business online over the years, but how is another high tech Google News innovation coming out of all this? Or is Google simply that worried about this anti-trust thing? Certainly the 19 companies that filed complaints with the EU must have taken note of the “revolutionary” way in which Google is attempting to upscale European news. Honestly now, does Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager have wind of this latest competition sustainability windfall?

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An EU Commission infographic depicting how Google "might" be favoring Google

Of interest to Russia’s search giant Yandex, this Android competitiveness aspect will certainly play a role in its suit against Google on grounds the US company played unfairly in mobile. Now I am wondering if the complaining companies might want to ante up, Uh… bribe their own, Eh… make media companies offers they cannot afford to refuse? Excuse me, I mean that maybe Yandex or the others can “help” media companies not supported in Google’s new matrix of excellence to compete? I mean if Google can buy, Uh… help build a new media template for Zeit, surely EU competitive rules can ensure everybody has a fair shot at some easy media money?

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Since we've arrived at this uneasy juncture of journalistic sustainability, here's my mashup of how "MAYBE" Zeit Editor Giovanni di Lorenzo could be eye-balling bags and bags of euros from Google's Larry Page - MAYBE

What do you think of Google's new initiative to ensure Europe gets the news right?  


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