Variety (of all sources) reports today that “ The European Commission has approved the French government’s offer of €99 million ($153 million) in state aid to the team hoping to create a European rival to Google”.
This move is aimed at giving European companies a helping hand in competing with the mainly US-based globally dominant media/tech giants such ad Google, Microsoft and Yahoo. Meanwhile the US is outsourcing billions of dollars of aviation business to European companies, so I’d say it’s even, but who am I in the grand scheme of macro global economics.
Another odd precedent setting move on the part of the French government, and an interesting example of displacement solutions in action, is President Nicolas Sarkozy’s proposed ban on commercials from public television, which would be offset by a first-of-its-kind tax on internet access and mobile phones. It’s like the Robin Hood of media. Support the old with the new. I had first read about this one in the International Herald Times back in January, but otherwise haven’t heard much about it. This is a pretty big one for the media to have not jumped all over. If this does happen, it’s a big deal and a potential new model for others to follow! Although something tells me that it won’t happen.
The French government’s desire to ensure the success and competitive position of its media and technology industries is certainly admirable. The global competitive landscape does seem to be heating up, in a world where the US based conglomerates are indeed the dominant players. Europe has finally realized that there is a point of no return, and this is the biggest shift in wealth and power since the industrial revolution.
Viva la internet!