Google and News Corp have never been on friendly terms, and News Corp CEO Robert Thomson’s recent attack on Google and Silicon Valley as a whole is simply the most recent in a long-running series of insults exchanged between the two companies. According to Thomson, Google and the companies like it are simply leeches that live off the hard work and creativity of other companies by stealing their content and redistributing it, then having the audacity to claim that doing so is simply a natural part of being a social networking platform. Sounds like somebody is a little upset.
News Corp’s CEO has fired the latest salvo in the long-running war of words between Google and Rupert Murdoch’s media holdings. On Thursday, Robert Thomson, the top executive of a publishing empire that includes The Wall Street Journal, the New York Post, The Times of London and The Sun, took aim at the search giant’s reorganization into a holding company called Alphabet. “That Google’s newly conceived parent company is to be called Alphabet has itself created a range of delicious permutations: A is for avarice, B is for bowdlerize, through to K for kleptocracy, P for piracy and Z for zealotry,” the exec said at a journalism awards dinner in Australia. The speech by Thomson was a keynote at the Lowy Institute media awards dinner in Australia. It was first reported by media website mUmBRELLA, and Thomson’s full remarks are here and audio is embedded below. Social networks, he explained, are beginning to recognize “premium content,” but not to the benefit of media organizations. “None of them actually create content, and they certainly have little intention of paying for it, but they do redistribute the content created by others. They would argue that such redistribution is a natural extension of their role as social networks. I would argue that much of the redistribution is an unnatural act,” he stated.