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Tuesday, 18 January 2011 10:56

Google bows to Berlusconi

Written by Nick Farell
google

Changes rules on advertising in Italy
Search Engine Google has bowed to the might of the defender of prostitutes Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi  and changed its advertising provisions in the country. In 2009 Google was hauled into court by Italian news sites who were upset that their content was removed from Google News would mean they'd also be removed from Google's main search results.

The complaint led to a broader inquiry of the search giant. Part of the problem appeared to be that  Berlusconi's news empire was miffed that its content was being nicked by Google and was cross that AdSense was collecting cash that should be ending up in its pockets. 

The investigations were carried out by the Italian competition authority and Google said that it co-operated with the investigation.  "We have worked cooperatively with the Italian competition authority and our publishing partners to address their questions and concerns.  While we comply with Italian and E.U. competition laws, we also understand that there is always room for improvement in our business," Google said in a statement .

The company said both commitments, while legally binding only in Italy, are part of initiatives it is launching worldwide. It said the mechanism for allowing Italian publishers to remove material from Google news has been in place since December 2009.

Google says it hopes the case could be a precedent for dealing with complaints against it, citing a high level of cooperation with Italian authorities.


Nick Farell

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