Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) alarming announcement to close down Google News operations in Spain, was cried down by Spain’s newspaper publisher association. The intellectual property law in Spain is at the heart of Google’s quitting Spanish activities, aided by media lobby. However, the same lobby, Spanish Newspaper Publishers’ Association (AEDE) has now appealed that Google be allowed to continue its services.
At the heart of Google’s umbrage with the Spanish government is a new publication law. It requires that agencies publishing in the country to charge for even ‘snippets of news’ whether the publishers wishes or not. Google Inc contests the charges, considering the fact that, it does not charge for Google News and it is predominantly advertisement free. The new charges required in Spain would not be sustainable for it, the online news publisher claimed.
Therefore, with great reluctance Google Inc, had announced that it would remove from Google News Spanish publishers, before the new law becomes effective in January. The company will eventually close Google News in Spain, effective Dec 16, its announcement had claimed on Wednesday last.
Why did AEDE see change of heart?
Apparently the change of heart was to ‘protect’ rights of citizens of the country and to ensure even playing ground for businesses.
While, the real reason for the turnaround is yet to be ascertained, it now appears clear that native media cannot overlook the fact that the country’s almost-entire search is dominated by Google News and its services.
In its statement the agency communicated that it requires collaborative working of the government as well as the local agencies of the country to ensure that rights of citizens is effectively protected.
Spokesperson for AEDE, Irene Lanzaco, commented in an interview with The Spain Report that it was open to negotiations with Google Inc. but it required that the latter relook its lack of ‘neutral stance’ in the country’s news gathering scenario.