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Is Google becoming too big for its own good as its fights Brazilian and French Media, Governments?

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Google is the biggest Internet Company on the planet and is part of the digital lives of almost everyone with access to the Internet. The company encompasses almost every digital product line email, search, advertizing, office software, cloud computing , videos, news, shopping etc. etc. The company has been using the massive cash flows generated from its ubiquitous search to enter and subsidize all the other divisions. The company has made a successful entry into mobile devices and tablets through Android Operating System which it developed and maintains for free.

It has paid billions of dollars to enter into newer segments like online Video (Youtube) and advertizing (Doubleclick). The company has left its competitors in some Internet sectors like video, advertizing and search far behind giving it a quasi monopoly. Now the enormous size of the company is making a lot of people see it as “evil”, the exact opposite of what the company says it does not want to be. Google reminds one of Microsoft in the 1990s when it used its massive scale to suppress and intimidate the competition (think Netscape). Google has already had some blemishes on its reputation, as it was fined millions of dollars for infringing privacy and breaking laws for gathering data for Google Maps.

Google has now come in confrontation with the French and Brazil media, as it Googles news scrapes headlines from top media outlets and puts it for free on its website. This has enraged the media companies who want to get paid for their headlines. While Google says it is directing traffic towards these media outlets by showing their headlines to billions of people, the media does not see it that way. They want to get paid for the headlines that they put out, while Google wants nothing to do with it. The Brazilians have already decided to boycott Google while the French Government is putting pressure on Google by raking up a tax issues for evading taxes in France. Note Google has become monstrous and is stepping on a lot of toes. Already a lot of people are having doubts about using Google as they think it infringes on their privacy too much (Seeing Google ads on websites targeted specifically based on your search history has spooked almost everyone).

Google fight with French Media

French tax authorities have made a billion-euro ($ 1.3 billion) claim against Google to pressure the US Internet giant to compromise in a dispute over compensation to media websites, a French newspaper reported. The weekly Canard Enchaine said in its edition to hit newstands today that the tax claim concerns the transfer prices set between Google’s Irish holding company and the French unit for four tax years, without disclosing its sources Hollande said the French Government would adopt a law if necessary to settle a dispute with French media websites, which want the search engine to hand over a percentage of the advertising revenue it earns from directing users to their content.

Google fighting Brazilian Media

Brazil’s main newspapers abandoned Google News after the world’s top search engine refused to compensate them for the rights to their headlines. The mass rush started last year when the National Association of Newspapers in Brazil, or ANJ, began recommending its members to opt out of the service. ANJ’s recommendation was followed by all of the 154 newspapers that belong to the organization and account for more than 90 percent of the country’s newspaper circulation. Google argues the company doesn’t need to pay for the rights to use headlines because Google News benefits newspapers by redirecting large volumes of user traffic to their websites.

Google’s earlier fight with China which it abandoned

As the Chinese Communist Party sees it, its very hold on power depends on tightly controlling the access of ordinary Chinese to information about their country, their rulers and the world at large. When Google decided in March to stop self-censoring search results in China by automatically redirecting queries to its uncensored service in Hong Kong, no one should have been surprised if Beijing rejected the scheme.The Chinese government is now pushing back, threatening not to renew Google’s license as an Internet content provider. It is Google’s challenge to stick to the spirit of its promise and never censor its searches in China again.

Google Apple War

There are rumors that Google will launch a Nexus tablet in collaboration with Taiwanese vendor Quanta Computers for jut $99 in the 2012 Christmas season. Note the cheapest decent tablets in  the US market come for at least $150-200. The cheapest iPad sells for $399 though the upcoming iPad mini is said to have a price point of $299. But this ultra low price point of Google’s new tablet could radically change the market of tablets and computing as a whole. Note white box vendors in India and China are selling very cheap tablets in the $75-150 range which run on the Android O/S. However these tablets lack both finesse and brand appeal. However they have managed to win a huge market in the semi urban and rural areas where the buying power is low. When Google launches a product within this segment, it could meet a huge untapped demand for low priced good branded tablets.


Sneha Shah

I am Sneha, the Editor-in-chief for the Blog. We would be glad to receive suggestions, inputs & comments on GWI from you guys to keep it going! You can contact me for consultancy/trade inquires by writing an email to

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