News Corp, the publishing firm behind titles such as The Times and The Wall Street Journal, has labeled Google a "cynical giant" in a stark warning of the threat posed to European media by the search king.
Writing to Europe’s competition commissioner News Corp’s chief executive Robert Thomson warned that Google wielded "overwhelming power" and that this was increasing with "… each passing day."
Moreover this metamorphosis from dynamic start-up to a multinational monopoly was reducing competition and encouraging piracy, according to Thomson.
News Corp is likely to receive a receptive audience in Europe, which has been investigating allegedly anti-competitive practices at Google since 2010.
These include suggestions that it has been manipulating its own search results to favour its own products such as Google Maps and YouTube over rivals.
On Thomson’s charge sheet against Google includes claims that it fails to respect intellectual property rights, links to unlawful content, delaying rival Android apps to ‘develop competing products’ and ‘commodifying’ media companies content.
Thomson concluded that Google has “…evolved from a wonderfully feisty, creative Silicon Valley startup to a vast, powerful, often unaccountable bureaucracy, which is sometimes contemptuous of intellectual property and routinely configures its search results in a manner that is far from objective”.