Alex Springer Afraid of Google?

April 22, 2014

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The New York Times reported, “A trans-Atlantic war of words — and profits — over the future of the Internet heated up on Wednesday when the head of Germany’s largest publisher, Alex Springer,  admitted that ‘we are afraid of Google’ and suggested that European authorities were colluding with the American Internet giant to develop a ‘business model that in less honorable circles would be called extortion.’” 

Döpfner penned the piece in response to an article by Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who defended Google’s practices and pointed to “heavy-handed regulation” in some places. Döpfner wrote, “We are afraid of Google… I must say this so clearly and honestly since scarcely one of my colleagues dares to do this publicly. And as the biggest of the small fry, we must perhaps be the first to speak plainly in this debate.”

In the piece, he commented on the European Commission’s antitrust investigation into the company. The New York Times reported, “Attacking what Mr. Schmidt had characterized as Google’s willingness to forge a compromise with the European Commission over a four-year-old complaint about its practices, Mr. Döpfner starkly declared, ‘This is not a compromise.’” In the letter, he asked, “Will European politicians fold or wake up? Institutions in Brussels have never been as important as they are now.”

Google did not respond to a request for comment. For the full article, please see http://www.faz.net/aktuell/feuilleton/debatten/mathias-doepfner-s-open-letter-to-eric-schmidt-12900860.html