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It’s not Google that stole the newspapers’ sweeties

Google faces £20bn claim for depriving newspapers of ad revenue
Digital publishers allege tech giant uses ad technology to sideline them and hoover up revenue

Quite apart from anything else Google has every right to use whatever business structure it likes to take revenue away from other people. We do in fact desire there to be competition in the economy after all.

The tech giant is facing class action complaints in the UK and the Netherlands that it used its advertising technology to unfairly sideline publishers while hoovering up ad revenues.

The claim is being brought on behalf of all websites and publishers that carry online banner advertising, including newspapers, magazines, blogs and other digital media sites.

Toby Starr, a partner at the law firm Humphries Kerstetter, said alleged UK victims may have potentially lost up to £7bn in revenues since 2014.

“This includes news websites up and down the country with large daily readerships as well as the thousands of small business owners who depend on advertising revenue,” he said, “be it from their fishing website, food blog, football fanzine or other online content they have spent time creating.”

Newspapers advertising revenues have been hit particularly hard by the rise of Google as brand advertising and classified ad sales collapsed over the last two decades.

This is toss. Because that classifieds revenue hasn’t been lost to Google. It’s gone to Gumtree, Freecycle, Monster and Indeed for the job ads. The local papers have been screwed out of perhaps one third of their revenues by that lot. Given that the US newspaper industry’s economics resembled the local UK papers (the national UK newspapers had to deal with this a century and more back, as the country became a national newspaper market off the back of the trains) they’ve also been so affected.

It’s classified ads which have gone and classifieds haven’t moved to Google.

6 thoughts on “It’s not Google that stole the newspapers’ sweeties”

  1. IANAL, but…..I honestly don’t get why they try to litigate in Clogland….

    There’s no such thing as a class action suit in our legal system, as several hopefuls have found out to their detriment..

    Even then.. if they found a way to present their case in civil court, any payout would be.. meager.. and would have to be quantified pretty accurately to even stand a chance of being granted.
    And even then the verdict would only apply to any publication with an actual corporate presence in Clogland.

    If the court doesn’t throw out the case outright, on the grounds that the alleged infraction would be by Google as a whole, and as such should be litigated in the jurisdiction of the main office for the EU, which is Ireland, not the Netherlands..

    There’s no money in it, certainly not the billions they claim, and the case is quite likely going to be tossed out on technical grounds..
    Dunno what their strategy is, but un;ess there’s something deeper behind it all, it’s taking yourself to the back of the shed…

  2. I had a thriving business making set-top TV aerials, loon pants, and buggy whips. My business has been destroyed by the move to digital, sensible trousers, and cars. I want to sue somebody!

  3. @Grikath: ’Dunno what their strategy is…’

    It’s baffling, and it can only be to garner publicity for the firm as some kind of ‘crusading for the little guy’ type firm.

  4. “small business owners who depend on advertising revenue,” he said, “be it from their fishing website, food blog, football fanzine or other online content they have spent time creating.””

    Prior to Google, how did these brave, pioneering souls get any advertising revenue? Come to think of it, when exactly were these websites built, and how did they go about garnering traffic?

    What’s 2014 got to do with the price of fish?

  5. jgh, I think you’ll also agree that it’s gross racism that they don’t beg you let them sue themselves for you at their expense. And then compensate you for the money they’ve spent on the case.

  6. Soo… Disney (Brahmastra) can sue the stuffing out of Paramount Pictures (Top Gun) for outgrossing them last weekend.

    As Boganboy said this is clearly racist, sexist, genderist, extreme MAGAist and causes global warming.

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