„We are afraid of Google”

Mathias Döpfner, CEO Axel Springer:

Mathias Döpfner published an open letter to Google’s executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, in the German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung in which he points out that Google is not only the largest search engine in the world, but the largest video platform, the largest browser, and the most used e-mail service and mobile operating system. The open letter was published as a response to a guest column written by Schmidt in the same newspaper.

Döpfner goes on to talk about the „schizophrenic” relationship between Axel Springer and Google. On one hand the publisher is part of a European antitrust lawsuit against the search giant, while it also relies on Google’s traffic and ad revenue. „We know of no alternative that even begins to offer similar technological requirements for automated advertising sales, and we cannot do without this source of income,” he says.

He refers to a case where a change to Google’s algorithm led to a drop in traffic to an Axel Springer subsidiary of 70 percent: „This is a real case. And that subsidiary is a competitor of Google… I am sure it is a coincidence.”

„We are afraid of Google,” he added.

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