Carlo D’Asaro Biondo, the French-Italian executive leading the group’s new charm offensive
In Mr D’Asaro Biondo’s analysis, Google should have offered a helping hand to all kinds of European industries as the digital world put increasing pressure on their business models. That did not happen.
That neglect has exacted a high price. A series of running battles with the media and entertainment industries over copyright issues has expanded into wider competition complaints, resulting in this month’s action in Brussels.
Now, with the digital world encroaching far beyond media and communications, anxiety about Google’s influence — whether it is friend or foe of industries from healthcare to automobiles — is rising.
Mr D’Asaro Biondo’s unenviable first task will be to persuade Europe’s news publishers — who have long counted among the company’s strongest critics — that it has their interests at heart.
The challenge extends beyond news publishers to other “old media” companies trying to make money online. TV executives such as Bertelsmann’s Thomas Rabe, for instance, grumble that the economics of platforms such as Google’s YouTube simply do not generate enough money for broadcasters.
Ultimately, his message to Google detractors is straightforward: “I can make the cake bigger for everybody. If we can look each other in the eye with respect, I think we can do incredible things in Europe.”
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