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Google Says "Ciao" To Antitrust Claim In Italy

Each day seems to bring new twists and turns in Europe in the unfolding saga of the many investigations against Google going on there. Yesterday, in a bit of good news for Mountain View, the Italian Competition Authority ended an antitrust investigation into Google News.

The investigation was initiated in 2009 after complaints by Italian publishers that they couldn’t remove links from Google News, which they said wasn’t sending them traffic, without also removing them from Google.com search results, which would have hurt their general traffic and ad revenues.

Google News has been a frequent source of tension between the company and traditional publishers on both sides of the Atlantic. In the Italian case, Google agreed to allow publisher content to be removed from News while remaining in the general Google index and search results. The company also addressed related complaints over AdSense.

According to Bloomberg:

As part of the agreement, Google will ensure that publishers opting out of Google News won’t have their content removed from its search results, the authority said on its website today. It will also “increase the transparency” on the revenue sharing of its AdSense service, the regulator said.

These moves apparently satisfied the Italian regulator and ended the case.

Meanwhile the European Commission continues with its broad antitrust investigation against Google. Independently, Google has suffered several recent, unrelated legal setbacks in Germany, Spain and, under a separate regulatory body, in Italy.

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