The Bundeskartellamt, Germany’s very active competition authority, isn’t letting the grass grow under new powers it gained this year to tackle Big Tech: The Federal Cartel Office (FCO) has just announced a third proceeding against Google.
The FCO’s latest competition probe looks very interesting, as it’s targeting Google News Showcase — Google’s relatively recently launched product which curates a selection of third-party publishers’ content to appear in story panels on Google News (and other Google properties), content for which the tech giant pays a licensing fee.
Google started cutting content licensing deals with publishers around the world for News Showcase last year, announcing a total pot of $1 billion to fund the arrangements — with Germany one of the first markets where it inked deals.
However, its motivation to pay publishers to licence their journalism is hardly pure.
It follows years of bitter…