Google is investigated in Brazil for showing news snippets

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Cade (Administrative Council for Economic Defense) is investigating Google Brazil for displaying excerpts of news on the search site. These are called snippets, a “box” that highlights the summary of what the user searched for. The box can be found in the “News” tab of the search engine and the person can read an important part of the article.

So far, the Council has heard versions of Google, the National Association of Newspapers (ANJ) and other news outlets to understand whether the search giant misuses parts of the text.

The process has been underway since 2019, but the subject has been on the agenda since 2018, when Buscapé stated that Google copied prices from the site and included it in Google Shopping. According to the company, the action discouraged more users from entering the site. The case was dismissed for lack of evidence, but shortly afterwards, it was noted that the same could be happening with the news display.

The ANJ, which represents several vehicles in the country, said that if the search engine proves to discourage readers from clicking on the original story, Google should pay for the content. Currently, newspapers generate revenue through subscriptions and, mainly, advertisements on websites.

Google, on the other hand, said that it is cooperating with the investigations, but makes it clear that all sites decide whether they want to appear in the “Google News” option. According to the company, Google helps direct more than 24 billion hits each month to journalistic sites, in addition to adding a “Subscribe with Google” tool, which makes it easier to subscribe to newspapers.

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ANJ says that the measures are not enough, since “the amount paid is merely symbolic”. The Association requires that all vehicles be paid equally and that Google has more “transparency and objectivity in negotiations”.

Australian law

The investigation follows a wave of claims from the media around the world. In February, the Australian Parliament passed the law that obliges companies like Google and Facebook to pay for news they display on their platforms. The country says the objective of the decision is to ensure that technology companies that benefit from this content, pay for vehicles and “help support public interest journalism in Australia”.

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