The Irony: Spanish Newspapers Want Google News Back
Late in October this year, the parliament of Spain passed a law which granted news publishers the access to charge aggregator sites such as Google News, every time they displayed news content in search results.
Google had been disgruntled at this news and threatened to shut down its news page in Spain if this law was passed, and well, the Spanish parliament didn’t pay any heed to such threats. This led to Google’s representative in Spain to state his disdain over the news:
We are disappointed with the new law because we think that services like Google News help publishers to bring traffic to their websites.
Looking forward, we will continue to work with Spanish publishers to help them increase their income while we consider our options in light of this new regulation.
The “option” that Google chose was shutting down of its news department from the 16th of December 2014 in Spain, before the laws even came into effect from 1st January 2015. Google went this harsh because the company was not to gain any profits from the publishers.
While the parliament did not realize the impact of their steps by letting the tech giant go so easily, news organizations in Spain are going the other way around though the law was actually in their favor.
The news organizations are calling out to the government to come to a consensus with Google because of its dominance in the market, and because if it leaves, it will ‘undoubtedly have a negative impact’ on the businesses as well as the public.
According to The Spain Report, Spanish Newspaper Publishers’ Association (AEDE) issued a statement, stating that:
Given the dominant position of Google (which in Spain controls almost all of the searches in the market and is an authentic gateway to the Internet), AEDE requires the intervention of Spanish and community authorities, and competition authorities, to effectively protect the rights of citizens and companies.
However, chances are rare that the Spanish government will intervene to stop the closure of Google News in their country, since according to the spokeswoman for AEDE, “Google has not taken a neutral stance.” This means that AEDE expects the company to abide by their laws, which seems rather uncertain at the moment.
On the other hand, AEDE does agree that Google is ‘free to close their business’ in case the government fails to respond – but that would mean the downfall of several Spanish news organizations as well.