US Publishers' Study: Google Allegedly Generates Billions in Revenue with News

Am 21. Juni 2019 - 1:42 Uhr von Tom Hirche

According to a study by the US publishers' association News Media Alliance, in 2018 alone Google generated revenues of 4.7 billion US-dollars from news content without paying for it. According to the publishers, this has to change in the future.

Some US publishers seem to be jealous of the European ancillary copyright law. For some time now, they have also been demanding intervention by the legislator. Their hope lies on an introduced bill that "would provide a limited safe harbor for news publishers to collectively negotiate with Facebook and Google for better business arrangements." The study is supposed to strengthen their case.

However, its methodology is highly questionable. In order to reach 4.7 billion US dollars, numerous assumptions had to be made. Among other things, a statement by former Google manager Marissa Mayer in 2008 was invoked. She had said that Google News was worth 100 million US dollars. Based on this, accumulated payment claims are also asserted in the billions.

What remains unconsidered, of course, is that Google, according to its own statement, generates several billion clicks every month for the publishers' websites alone. This results in higher reach and thus increased revenues through advertising and subscriptions.

Generally speaking, the argumentation is reminiscent of what the German publishing houses around Axel Springer had said. They also told lie after lie until they finally got their new regulation that does nothing for them but causes great damage. Soon within the entire EU.

In Switzerland, too, similar efforts have been made. Fortunately, however, an originally planned ancillary copyright for press publishers has not made it into a draft for the adaptation of copyright law.

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