ROME (Reuters) - Google has proposed remedies to close an Italian antitrust probe into whether the Internet search giant coerced local newspapers into posting stories on its news website, the watchdog said on Friday.
The regulator began the probe in August 2009 after the Italian Federation of Newspaper Editors alleged that any publication refusing to appear on the Google News Italia website was excluded from Google’s search engine.
Remedies include ensuring newspaper publishers do not have their content excluded from Google’s search engine and more disclosure about revenue-sharing mechanisms, the authority said in a document published on its website.
Google said in a statement it welcomed the cooperation established with the antitrust body and the editors association, which among others represents media groups like RCS Mediagroup and L‘Espresso.
The regulator said it would complete an evaluation of the proposed remedies by the end of September, adding interested parties had 30 days to make their observations.
Last year, Italy’s antitrust chief urged Google to talk with Italian publishers to resolve the case, or risk heavy fines.
Google and its competitor Yahoo face complaints from news providers in the United States and elsewhere that their search engines make money from news generated by others.
Reporting by Alberto Sisto; writing by Danilo Masoni in Milan, Editing by Mark Potter