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Italy Drops Antitrust Investigation Against Google News, Accepts Commitments for Web Publishers

Yesterday, in a bit of good news for Mountain View, the Italian Competition Authority ended an antitrust investigation into Google News.

An antitrust investigation was initiated in 2009 by Italian newspaper publishers who cried foul over lost advertising revenue when their headlines were pulled from Google’s main search results after they opted out of Google’s News results, has ended.

According the New York Times:

Google now makes it easier for publishers to quit Google News without affecting their organic search results, and promises to keep the system like that heading forward. Google will also disclose revenue-sharing arrangements for its AdSense partners.

The Italian Federation of Newspaper Publishers argued that few people bothered to click on the aggregated links found on Google News Italia that led to their newspaper websites, costing the publishers advertising and page views.

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’ll 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.

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