Google's tongue-in-cheek response to News Corp


Google has fought back with a point-by-point rebuttal to harsh criticisms leveled against the search giant's operations by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp.

In a letter to the European Commission last week, News Corp's chief executive Robert Thomson and claimed the company's practices were damaging the business models of news organizations.

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News Corp also said that Google stifles competition, but the Mountain View, CA-based firm refuted the claims on its official blog.

"Google is of course very popular in Europe, but we are not the gatekeeper to the web, as some claim," Rachel Whetstone, Google's SVP of global communications wrote.

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Google also responded to News Corp's concerns of the way it ranks search results. Whetstone wrote that while the company makes over 500 changes to the algorithm every year, these are aimed at "improving the user experience" and not punishing companies.

The US web giant is currently in a long-running antitrust battle with the European Commission, the European Union's executive arm, over its dominance of the market and practices. The EU's competition chief, Joaquín Almunia, told the European Parliament on Tuesday that Google needed to offer further concessions or it could face fines.

In spite of the heat of the debate, Whetstone remained light-hearted in her blog posting.

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"Larry Page and Sergey Brin are still very much at the helm of Google -- Larry is CEO and both remain the inspiration behind our next generation of big bets... self-driving cars, Loon, Fiber and more," she wrote in response to News Corp's claim that the vision of the Google founders had been "replaced by cynical management".

The final blow was very tongue in cheek. "Undermining the basic business model of professional content creators will lead to a less informed, more vexatious level of dialogue in our society," News Corp's Thomson wrote.

To which Google replied: "People probably have enough evidence to judge that one for themselves :)," posting an image of the infamous "Up Yours Delors" Sun headline, printed in response to the then European Commission President's perceived federalism.

Click here to read the full Google blog post.

Sun | BBC

- By CNBC's Arjun Kharpal