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Google fires back at Rupert Murdoch in Europe

26 september 2014, 12:17
©Reuters/Chris Helgren
©Reuters/Chris Helgren

 Google on Thursday fired back at media mogul Rupert Murdoch, disputing a News Corp. complaint in Europe that the Internet titan has veered from the path of doing no evil, AFP reports.

In a blog post that opens with "Dear Rupert," Google presented a point-by-point rebuttal of unflattering assertions in an open letter last week from Murdoch's News Corp. to the European Commission.

"We wanted to share our perspective so you can judge the arguments on their merits.," Google senior vice president of global communications Rachel Whetstone said in a post at the California company's European blog.

"Google is of course very popular in Europe, but we are not the gatekeeper to the Web, as some claim."

She spotlighted Google efforts to combat piracy and keep illicit content such as imagery depicting sexual abuse out of search results.

Responding to Murdoch's claim that Google is a "platform for piracy and malicious content," the US firm said it "has done more than almost any other company to help tackle online piracy."

Whetstone noted that Google took down 222 million Web pages in 2013 due to copyright infringement, and that it has invested "tens of millions of dollars in innovative technology -- called ContentID -- to tackle piracy on YouTube."

While the Internet has clearly disrupted long standing business models of news operations such as Murdoch's empire, Google has been working with media outlets to connect with people in new ways and ramp digital revenues, according to Whetstone.

In response to a News Corp letter accusation that the "shining vision of Google's founders has been replaced by a cynical management," Whetstone countered that Larry Page and Sergey Brin are still very much steering the Google ship.

"Both remain the inspiration behind our next generation of big bets...self-driving cars; Loon (which offers Internet access in remote areas), Fiber (which delivers ultrahigh-speed connections) and more," Whetstone said.

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