Alphabet concessions to Antitrust officials across the ocean

Offers and agreements to tone down the perfect monopoly

Google doodle for Independence Day

Google has recently been trying to appease Antitrust authorities both in the US and in the EU. In the US it allegedly offered to split its ad-tech business into a separate company. Such behavioral remedies might not satisfy the DOJ, rumored to have a preference for deep structural changes such as asset sales or divestitures. Within the European ad-tech investigation opened last year, Google seems to have made an offer that would allow competitors to broker the sale of ads on YouTube. Meanwhile in France, Google reached an agreement with the Antitrust authority that fined it last year 500 million Euros, on binding commitments for a fair negotiation with the news media.</span

The Indian competition commission is also looking into the complaints made by the Indian media via the Indian Newspaper Society and the Digital News Association against Google and Facebook’s policies on using their news and arbitrary and opaque apportioning of ad revenues. 

The above article except for the last paragraph is based on the Wan-Ifra Media Policy Briefing newsletter of 29 July 2022.

2023 promises an interesting ride for print in India

Indian Printer and Publisher founded in 1979 is the oldest B2B trade publication in the multi-platform and multi-channel IPPGroup. While the print and packaging industries have been resilient in the past 33 months since the pandemic lockdown of 25 March 2020, the commercial printing and newspaper industries have yet to recover their pre-Covid trajectory.

The fragmented commercial printing industry faces substantial challenges as does the newspaper industry. While digital short-run printing and the signage industry seem to be recovering a bit faster, ultimately their growth will also be moderated by the progress of the overall economy. On the other hand book printing exports are doing well but they too face several supply-chain and logistics challenges.

The price of publication papers including newsprint has been high in the past year while availability is diminished by several mills shutting down their publication paper and newsprint machines in the past four years. Indian paper mills are also exporting many types of paper and have raised prices for Indian printers. To some extent, this has helped in the recovery of the digital printing industry with its on-demand short-run and low-wastage paradigm.

Ultimately digital print and other digital channels will help print grow in a country where we are still far behind in our paper and print consumption and where digital is a leapfrog technology that will only increase the demand for print in the foreseeable future. For instance, there is no alternative to a rise in textbook consumption but this segment will only reach normality in the next financial year beginning on 1 April 2023.

Thus while the new normal is a moving target and many commercial printers look to diversification, we believe that our target audiences may shift and change. Like them, we will also have to adapt with agility to keep up with their business and technical information needs.

Our 2023 media kit is ready, and it is the right time to take stock and reconnect with your potential markets and customers. Print is the glue for the growth of liberal education, new industry, and an emerging economy. We seek your participation in what promises to be an interesting ride.

– Naresh Khanna

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