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THE NEWS WRAP: Google hits back at News Corp’s allegations of being a “platform for piracy”

Friday, 26 September 2014 | By Kye White

Google has responded to a letter Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp sent to the European Commission in which he alleged the company was willing to exploit its market position to stifle competition, and that it was a platform for piracy and the spread of malicious networks.


In its response, Google says it has done more than almost any other company to help tackle online piracy.


“In 2013 we removed 222 million web pages from Google Search due to copyright infringement,” it says.


“The average take-down time is now just six hours. And we downgrade websites that regularly violate copyright in our search rankings.


“We’ve invested tens of millions of dollars in innovative technology – called Content ID – to tackle piracy on YouTube.”


Google says contrary to the opinion of some, it is not the gatekeeper to the web.


“With the internet, people enjoy greater choice than ever before – and because the competition is just one click away online, barriers to switching are very, very low,” it says.


“When it comes to our answers versus other websites, Larry Page, our co-founder, has always believed that the perfect search engine would understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want.”


Hootsuite raises $60 million

Vancouver-based startup Hootsuite, which is known for its social media management dashboards, has raised $60 million at a valuation of roughly $1 billion, Re/code reports.


Hootsuite chief executive officer Ryan Holmes says the valuation has more than doubled since the company raised $165 million in a Series B last August.


The latest round of funding was led by an unknown Boston investor, as well as existing investors Insight Venture Partners, Accel Partners and OMERS Ventures.


Netflix subscribers watching 93 minutes of Netflix every day

Subscribers to the online streaming service Netflix are watching an average of 93 minutes of content per day and consuming around 45 GB of data every month, according to new estimates from The Diffusion Group.


The group’s new Netflix report found that Netflix streaming has increased 350% over the last 10 quarters.


As Netflix continues to expand internationally, more and more of the company’s streaming comes from outside the US. In Q3 of 2011, 94% of all Netflix streaming hours were from US subscribers. In Q2 2014, the US contribution was down to 72%.

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