Berlin pushes Google to reveal search-engine secrets

Justice minister says US tech group needs to become more transparent

 Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. Photograph: David Paul Morris/Getty Images

 

Berlin is calling on Google to disclose details of the secret formula that has allowed it to monopolise web search in Europe, in a move that is likely to be welcomed by competitors and fiercely resisted by the US tech company.

In an interview with the Financial Times, German justice minister Heiko Maas said Google had to become more “transparent” about the algorithm used to create search engine rankings.

But Robert Kimmitt, a former US ambassador to Germany, was highly critical of his comments.

European companies and countries “should be concerned about calls for appropriation of intellectual property”, he said. – (Copyright The Financial Times Limited 2014)