Google has not had an easy recent run in Brussels.最近,谷歌(Google)在布鲁塞尔的日子不好过。

本文摘要:Google has not had an easy recent run in Brussels.最近,谷歌(Google)在布鲁塞尔的日子不好过。


Google has not had an easy recent run in Brussels.最近,谷歌(Google)在布鲁塞尔的日子不好过。In early September, the competition commission threw back the search engine’s proposals to settle its long-running antitrust case. Then, the EU’s incoming digital commissioner warned the company of increased scrutiny from regulators.9月初,欧盟(EU)竞争委员会驳回了这家搜索引擎就其旷日持久的反垄断案递交的妥协方案。接着,欧盟新任数字专员警告该公司,监管机构将对其增大审查力度。Before that, the EU’s “right to be forgotten” left Google with the onerous task of removing search results if someone requested it.在此之前,欧盟裁决的“被消逝权”(right to be forgotten)让谷歌背上了一项艰难的任务:如果有人拒绝移除搜寻结果,谷歌必须照做。

These setbacks have come despite Google increasing its lobbying efforts and launching a charm offensive in Brussels and national capitals across Europe, as the US technology group wrestles with the reality of life as a $400bn company in an increasingly strictly regulated sector.尽管谷歌增大了游说希望,并在欧盟和欧洲各国大城发动了魅力攻势,却仍接连挫败。作为一个监管日益严苛的行业中一家市值4000亿美元的企业,这家美国科技集团正在艰苦应付严苛的现实。

The group is believed to have more than doubled the amount it spends on EU lobbying since 2011. It spent roughly 1.5m lobbying EU institutions in 2013, according to the European Transparency Register, a voluntary register that tracks what businesses spend on lobbying European institutions, an increase from the 600,000 it spent in 2011.据信,自2011年以来,谷歌在游说欧盟方面的开支快速增长了好比一倍。根据专门跟踪企业在欧洲游说开支的European Transparency Register的数据,2013年,谷歌耗资大约150万欧元用作游说欧盟机构,低于2011年的60万欧元。

In the US, where rules on the disclosure of lobbying are stricter, technology groups report far higher spending on lobbying. Google, for example, spent $8.85m in the first half of 2014 alone in the US – nearly four times what it said that it spent lobbying the EU for the whole of 2013.在游说透露规定更加严苛的美国,科技集团发布的游说开支要低得多。例如,起码今年上半年,谷歌在美国的游说开支就低约885万美元,是2013年全年该公司发布的欧盟游说开支的将近4倍。Google declined to comment on this article. But its efforts in Europe are part of its “soft power” approach towards influencing policy makers.谷歌拒绝接受早已置评。

但其在欧洲的措施是目的影响政策制定者的“软实力”战略的一部分。The Financial Times has spoken to several people with knowledge of how the company has built an operation worth tens of millions of dollars and focused on Brussels. It has learnt from peers, such as Microsoft, which waged its own battles with the EU in the 1990s and early 2000s and was fined a total of 2bn between 1993 and 2013. Where the Seattle group adopted an aggressive approach towards European regulators, Google has employed a “soft power” strategy using private lobbying, philanthropic initiatives and public events to try to influence policy makers.据报谷歌投放数千万美元成立了一项专心于布鲁塞尔的业务,英国《金融时报》记者曾与几位知情人士聊天过。谷歌从同行身上汲取了教训,比如微软公司(Microsoft)在上世纪90年代和本世纪初与欧盟争斗不休,1993年至2013年总共被判处20亿欧元的罚金。总部坐落于西雅图的微软公司以强硬态度的态度应付欧洲监管者,谷歌则采行了“软实力”战略,企图利用私下游说、慈善项目和公共活动影响政策制定者。

“In Europe, the spectre of what happened to Microsoft is always in people’s mind at Google. They are the study of how not to do things,” said one insider. “Instead, a lot of time is spent behind closed doors talking to the right people.”“在欧洲,谷歌人一直牢记着微软公司的遭遇。这教会他们不要做到什么,”一位内部人士回应,“很多时间被用在与适合的人称疾聊天。”Jan Philipp Albrecht, a Green MEP from Germany who has campaigned vociferously on digital privacy and been a public critic of the company, agreed. “Google learned from these mistakes,” he said.来自德国的欧洲议会绿党议员扬菲利普亚伯雷希(Jan Philipp Albrecht)表示同意这点,他回应:“谷歌从这些错误中汲取了教训。”他曾多次大张旗鼓地发动确保数字隐私的活动,而且仍然公开批评谷歌。


“The difference between Google and the others is that on a personal level they are very nice and reasonable. It makes them look a reasonable partner.”“谷歌与其他企业的不同之处在于从个人来讲,他们十分友好关系和通情达理。这让他们看起来是不俗的合作伙伴。”According to two people familiar with Google’s operations, the company is able to open doors at the highest levels of European government, but the “direction of traffic” is not one-way. Politicians are often eager to associate themselves with Google, with lawmakers often requesting meetings with its executives rather than the other way round.据两名理解谷歌业务的人士称之为,谷歌需要敲开欧洲政府最高层的大门,但这种交流并非是单向的。政治人士往往讨厌与谷歌有为,议员们常常拒绝与该公司高管会谈,而不是反过来。

“You see this all round Europe and the US, in politics and opinion leadership. They travel to Silicon Valley, meet up with these companies,” said Mr Albrecht. Politicians “want to be part of such a successful movement and gain some of their limelight and coolness”.亚伯雷希回应:“在欧洲和美国,在政界和舆论领袖那里,这种情况比比皆是。他们不会采访硅谷,与这些公司的高管会面。

”政治人士“期望带入这股顺利的潮流,并取得一些注目。”Others said that the company has tried to build bridges with European countries by helping to fund philanthropic projects in line with the aims of government.还有一些人回应,谷歌通过为一些合乎政府目标的慈善项目获取资金,企图与欧洲国家打好交道。People familiar with the matter said that Google’s cultural institute in Paris is one example. In 2010, Eric Schmidt, executive chairman, announced that the company would create a venue in the French capital dedicated to “digital culture”, with an investment that would run into the “millions of dollars”, according to local media reports.知情人士回应,谷歌在巴黎正式成立的文化学院就是一个例子。据当地媒体报道,2010年,谷歌继续执行董事长埃里克施密特(Eric Schmidt)宣告,该公司将在法国大城巴黎创立一个致力于“数字文化”的中心,投资将低约“数百万美元”。

Its creation was partly in response to a declaration by Nicolas Sarkozy, then France’s president, that the government was considering an internet levy – dubbed the “Google tax” – to charge sites that generate income from content created by domestic media outlets.该文化中心的创建在一定程度上是为了对此时任法国总统尼古拉萨科齐(Nicolas Sarkozy)的一项声明,声明称之为,法国政府于是以考虑到征税一项互联网税(被称作“谷歌税”(Google tax)),向那些从国内媒体建构的内容中取得收益的网站征收。Google executives believed the tax plan was unworkable, but they feared it was a dangerous escalation in rhetoric.谷歌高管指出,这一税收计划是不不切实际的,但他们担忧这是法国当局在言论上的危险性升级。


One insider said that the institute was a “gesture to show Google cared about French cultural values. It was to counteract the view that this was US imperialists out to crush French media groups.”一位内部人士回应,正式成立巴黎文化学院“意图指出谷歌推崇法国文化价值观。这将与下列观点有违:毁坏法国媒体集团的是美国帝国主义者。”In December 2013, the centre was opened. But French politics had changed. The internet levy was never implemented but Mr Sarkozy had been replaced by the socialist Franois Hollande.2013年12月,谷歌文化学院启用。但法国政局已逆。

互联网税未曾实行,但萨科齐被社会党的弗朗索瓦奥朗德(Franois Hollande)代替。His new culture minister, Aurélie Filippetti, who had promised to inaugurate the venue, cancelled at the last minute. “Despite the quality of the projects concerned, I don’t wish to appear as a guarantee for an operation that still raises a certain number of questions,” she said.奥朗德政府新任的文化部长奥雷莉菲莉佩蒂(Aurélie Filippetti)在最后一刻中止了参与该中心启用仪式的计划。

她回应:“尽管有关项目的质量就让,但我不期望沦为一项仍不存在很多问题的行动的借贷者。”In the UK, Google has built Campus London, a hub for budding tech entrepreneurs.在英国,谷歌为科技企业家新秀创立了一个中心:Campus London。

The centre was opened in March 2012 by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, who hailed it as a project that could fulfil the UK government’s vision to turn the area’s budding start-up scene into the “technology centre of Europe”, a key government objective.该中心于2012年3月投放运营,英国财政大臣乔治奥斯本(George Osborne)参与了启用仪式,他回应该项目有助构建英国政府的一个最重要目标:将本地区的初创企业聚集地发展成“欧洲的科技中心”。