Google said on Monday that it faced antitrust complaints in Germany from newspaper and magazine publishers who want the company to pay for using article snippets in its Web news service and search results, reports The New York Times. Google said the German Federal Cartel Office had also informed it of a separate but related complaint from a Microsoft subsidiary, Ciao, and a Berlin-based online mapping company, Euro-Cities. “This is a fact-finding exercise, and we have been asked to provide the authority with our views,” a Google spokesman, Kay Oberbeck, said. “We are happy to explain our products and business practices, and we of course comply with German and European law.” The company says it helps publishers make money on the Web by directing traffic their way and by selling advertising through partnership programs. But Hans-Joachim Fuhrmann, a spokesman for the German Newspaper Publishers Association, said the Web sites of all German newspapers and magazines together made 100 million euros, or $143 million, in ad revenue, while Google generated 1.2 billion euros from search advertising in Germany.
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