Google suit draws news industry reactions

Various parties weighed in on the Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against Google, filed in October.

antitrust suit against Google, filed in October. “It is good that the DOJ is starting the process, but ‘search distribution’ issues are a small subset of the many issues presented by Google dominance,” said News Media Alliance President and CEO David Chavern in a statement. “News publishers are particularly harmed by Google’s control of ad tech — and that doesn’t appear to be covered at all by the DOJ’s action today,” said the statement.

Chavern pushed for the passage of the Journalism Competition & Preservation Act in his statement.

“For Big Tech, it’s a reckoning that’s been a long time coming,” says an LA Times editorial headlined “The DOJ is taking the gloves off against Big Tech.”

“The lawsuit, which was joined by 11 state attorneys general, is likely to be just the first in a salvo of antitrust cases, legislative proposals, rule-makings and other governmental initiatives to rein in Big Tech companies,” says the piece.

It’s unknown what would happen with the suit under a Biden administration. Reuters quoted one expert, William Kovacic, an antitrust professor at George Washington University Law School, as saying “What they will not do is drop this case.” Kovacic said new DOJ officials may change the complaint, however.

Google to pay for news

Google will pay $1 billion for news over the next three years, the company announced in an Oct. 2 blog post.

The payments will come as part of the new Google News Showcase, a product that will feature “the editorial curation of award-winning newsrooms to give readers more insight on the stories that matter, and in the process, helps publishers develop deeper relationships with their audiences,” said the post

News Showcase has started rolling out to readers in Brazil and Germany, and will expand to other countries in the coming months, said the post.

The post touted Google’s other moves in the industry over the last several years, including the Google News Initiative’s $300 million commitment.

Nieman Lab provided an analysis of Google’s latest move. “The money, spread over three years and the entire globe, is welcome — but this is PR, not a product,” it said.

Agfa wins product of the year awards

Agfa took home two product of the year awards from Printing United Alliance. The Oberon RTR3300 won in the RTR UV category (over 80 in.) and Jeti Tauro H3300 LED won top honors in the UV Hybrid/Flatbed High Volume Production Class category. The Oberon is making its North America debut at the Printing United Digital Experience.

The Printing United Alliance hands out the awards for solutions from its member suppliers that are available for sale in 2020. Over 200 entries were submitted across 85 categories.

Agfa’s headquarters are in Belgium. The largest production and research centers are in Belgium, the U.S., Canada, Germany, France, the U.K., Austria, China and Brazil.

Printing United, originally scheduled to take place at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta on Oct. 21–23, was moved to an online experience due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Muller Martini launches Prinova saddle stitcher

Muller Martini launched the Prinova saddle stitcher this fall.

“Thanks to its innovative individual feeder, the saddle stitcher, which is capable of 9,000 cycles per hour, can be changed over incredibly quickly,” says a press release from the company.

The Prinova is the ideal solution for short runs, but as an all-rounder, it is also designed for medium-sized runs as well, says the company. The Prinova includes a number of proven technological features from its “big brother,” the Primera, said the release.

Muller Martini is based in Switzerland and has over 20 sales and service companies and 40 agencies and production sites in Switzerland, Germany, the U.S. and China.

Pulse Research, ANC form alliance

Pulse Research and revenue development company Advantage Newspaper Consultants have formed an alliance to deliver Pulse Research and Pulse Sales Tools to ANC newspaper partners.

As a part of the agreement, ANC media analysts will use Pulse Sales Tools when they work with newspaper and media partners to develop revenue. This will provide ANC and their partners current shopping intelligence and “the best ways to engage and help customers with the goal of closing more print and digital annual contracts,” said a news release from ANC.

Sammy Papert of Wormhole has represented Pulse for 16 years and was instrumental in finalizing the agreement, said the release. He will serve as point person with ANC and their newspaper partners.

Pulse was founded in 1985 by John Marling. ANC was founded in 1996 by Timothy O. Dellinger.

Quantum Design, Hunkeler partner

Quantum Design, a manufacturer of automatic splicers and turret rewinders and owner of the KTI product line, announced an agreement with Hunkeler, provider of digital print finishing solutions based in Wikon, Switzerland. The agreement will make Quantum Design the exclusive supplier of automatic splicing and rewinding equipment for Hunkeler.

The partnership is a result of many months of work collaborating on a custom automatic splicing machine, the Hunkeler RS8 model, and an automatic turret rewinder, the Hunkeler TR8 model. These new models are already being sold by Hunkeler as part of a complete inline finishing system for the digital printing industry.

“The technology that is central to this collaboration is a game changer for digital printing as Hunkeler will be offering the first inline finishing system with nonstop end-toend processing in the industry,” said a press release from Hunkeler.

Hunkeler displayed the full solution at their in-house event, Innovationdays 2019, and had plans to showcase the equipment at drupa 2020 prior to the postponement of the event.

Rheinisch-Bergische Druckerei will use ABB’s MPS Production systems

Global technology company ABB has been awarded a contract to provide software system upgrades including its MPS Production and production data analysis system MPS Inform to Rheinisch-Bergische Druckerei.

Based in Dusseldorf, the company publishes daily, weekly and monthly papers, periodicals and magazines for customers in Germany. These include the Rheinische Post, Westdeutsche Zeitung, Remscheider Generalanzeiger and the Solinger Tageblatt. These are produced in a print run of around 600,000 copies along with 3.3 million advertising papers and magazines.

MPS Production is an ABB press management and optimization system that enables operators to plan print products using specifications imported from an external system or created using an inbuilt graphical planner.

“Our technologies have developed beyond recognition since we first worked with Rheinisch-Bergische Druckerei GmbH more than 35 years ago,” said Damian Staedeli, head of printing for Switzerland-based ABB.

More news •

In May 2020, DCOS inked a deal with Tryck i Norrbotten (Lulea, Sweden) to futureproof their eight tower, single folder Goss Magnum press. The order includes a full DCOS package solution, replacing and retrofitting the complete Omnicon system, the shaftless drive system and the QTI Multicam system. The installation will take place in the fourth quarter of 2020.

• Stora Enso will start codetermination negotiations with employees at its Hylte Mill in Sweden regarding a plan to reorganize the mill, including permanent closure of paper machine PM3 and the deinking plant, the company announced.

• TikTok can continue to operate in the U.S. under a preliminary injunction, the Commerce Department said Nov. 11. TikTok had filed a petition with a U.S. court asking for info on the government’s plans on TikTok. TikTok plans to sell 20% of itself to Walmart and Oracle.

• Valassis, a Vericast business, has introduced Illumis, a marketing platform that gives marketers “the ability to directly tie insights-led strategies to high-performing consumer engagement” says a news release from Valassis.

• Flint Group Flexographic, provider of flexographic photopolymer plates and plate processing equipment, has announced the establishment of a dedicated sales organization in South Africa.

• Finland-based UPM plans to sell its newsprint plant in Wales in a restructuring, Business Live reports.