News Corp CEO to meet EU antitrust chief, Google in focus

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BRUSSELS – News Corp’s chief executive will meet the EU antitrust chief this week, the company said on Monday, with the focus expected to be on the EU’s investigation into whether Internet search engine Google abused its dominance.

CEO Robert Thomson will meet European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager on Thursday for the third time, a News Corp spokesman said, without providing details.

Despite opening a case against Google in late 2010, the European Commission has yet to decide whether to penalize the company.

News Corp, controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch and the owner of the Wall Street Journal and publisher HarperCollins, is one of more than a dozen companies that have urged the European Commission to act against Google.

Google’s practice of aggregating content on its home page and exploiting its dominance in online advertising undermines the business model of content providers such as News Corp, Thomson told the previous EU antitrust head two years ago.

Commission spokesman Ricardo Cardoso did not immediately reply to an email for comment. Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai met Vestager last month but did not go into the substance of the EU charges laid against the company in April last year.

Google has said the accusations do not have any economic, legal or factual basis.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee; editing by Susan Thomas)