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Italy Antitrust Chief Warns of Google Publishing Monopoly

google-italy-logo-republic-day-2010Italy’s antitrust chief has warned the nation’s lower house of parliament of an impending Google publishing monopoly. Giovanni Pitruzzella said that Google’s search dominance could lead the company to a publishing monopoly.

The antitrust chief urged the lower house of parliament to extend antitrust laws to Internet media companies, like Google, which are now competing with publishing houses.

“In the course of a few years, Google could become a monopoly in [the publishing] market,” said Pitruzzella on the Italian Parliament floor, according to the Daily Mail. “Web companies such as Google and social networks should be subject to the same laws as offline companies.”

Google has in the past been accused of promoting its own products through the company’s Internet search engine. As many as 16 companies have accused Google of giving greater notoriety to Google brands in Google searches. The search giant believes that such complaints are inevitable because of the company’s size.

“We operate in over 100 countries around the world, and the Internet is disruptive by its nature,” Google said in a response to Pitruzzelia’s comments. “It’s understandable that our business should attract scrutiny and sometimes complaints in a few of these countries. We are always happy to answer questions authorities may have about our business.”

Google has received antitrust complaints globally. The European Commission (EC) gave Google a July deadline to address antitrust concerns. Google has said they were working with the EC to address antitrust concerns.

U.S. Senators delved into their own antitrust probe against Google following the EC’s findings. Senators Herb Kohl and Mike Lee called upon the Federal Trade Commission to investigate Google following the EC’s concerns.

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