POLITICO and Axel Springer, the owners of the POLITICO joint venture in Europe, announced today that they have acquired EUROPEAN VOICE and will rebrand the respected Brussels publication as POLITICO in the spring of 2015.
Bad news for Europe. Axel Springer, a big German publisher of among others the popular tabloid ‘Bild’, is the leading force behind the ‘Leistungsschutzrecht’. That is an ancillary copyright intended to make Google pay press publishers for showing snippets in search results and on Google News and got introduced last year.
Axel Springer is very aggressive in every imaginable way. (except for the innovative kind) Due to the popularity of Bild they have a lot of power in Germany. Expect them to try to influence the EU to very hardly regulate Google and other US tech giants.
It will be interesting to see wether Politico will allow that kind of instrumentalisation of the publication. The relationship could easily become contengious over this. Because while Politico does this to extend its business, Axel Springer does it to extend its power in the EU.