January 4, 2010 (CAP Newswire) – Although in the U.S. it enjoys pretty much open reign, search engine and Internet marketing powerhouse Google has been hitting some snags in Europe lately. In addition to a fairly severe threat of the German government to actually ban Google’s signature online marketing software, Google Analytics, there now appears to be a consensus growing in Europe that Google’s power must be curbed in other ways as well.

“Italy’s Federation of Newspaper Publishers is eagerly awaiting the verdict on a lawsuit it filed against Google with Italo and European antitrust regulators, claiming Italian papers are being cheated out of a fare share of local ad coin,” writes Nick Vivarelli for Variety, on the topic that Google News is being criticized for providing web users with valuable content for free.

Italy and Germany are the main countries claiming that Google is disregarding their copyright standards. One Italian publisher was quoted as saying that Google’s CEO, Eric Schmidt, is guilty of acting “as though the only law were that of California”.

Even those countries that aren’t hostile to Google are still seeking to get the company to ease up a bit on its content sharing techniques. Europe’s largest daily tabloid, Bild, is currently in negotiates with the company over “fair share” and “fair search” issues.

This renewed criticism comes after a Rome court has already ordered Google to remove thousands of clips from a leading Italian commercial broadcaster.

Is Europe’s initiative in going after Google just an example of resentment over the American company’s encroachment into its economy? Or do these lawsuits have merit, and might they possibly reach into the U.S., as well? Click here to read more in Variety.

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