Google and Europe, they’ve got issues

It’s been quite a week in Google-Europe news. Let’s recap.

• From Russia, with no love: Google is pulling its engineers out of Russia, probably because of a new law that requires tech companies to store user data in that country — where the government would likely demand access to it.

It’s unclear how many engineers will be affected, but the company told the Wall Street Journal that it plans to keep sales, marketing and other employees there. A spokeswoman also told the Journal that Google plans to boost investment in that country over the next couple of years.

• No news for you: Google News is shutting down in Spain next week ahead of a new law that requires news aggregators to pay publishers for links or snippets of news. The Associated Press points out that although Spanish news won’t find its way into Google News, Web users can still do individual searches and find news that way. The law, which has been nicknamed the “Google tax,” applies only to aggregated content.

The AP also notes that others have had related copyright issues with Google — including Germany, where Google now requires publishers to give their permission for summarizing news — the French news agency Agence France Presse, and AP itself.

• Deal, no deal: That four-year European antitrust investigation into Google that looked like it was going to be settled not too long ago? That’s so last EU competition chief.

The new commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, has sent questionnaires to Google’s rivals in Europe, asking them about search rankings and advertising, according to Bloomberg. They’re required to answer by next month. Google reportedly could face a fine of up to $6 billion in the antitrust case.


Photo from AFP/Getty Images


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