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One of the first was on March 24. That's when The Daily Dot reported Google-owned YouTube is preparing to relaunch its video streaming service with a focus on gaming and eSports. This would be a competitive move on Google's part against the hugely popular streaming site Twitch, which is owned by Amazon.com Inc. (Nasdaq: AMZN). Google tried and failed to acquire Twitch in 2014.
In response to The Daily Dot's request for commentary, a YouTube rep replied with a .gif of a little girl shaking her head, dumbfounded. The Daily Dot perceived the eccentric response as a way of saying "no comment." However, the YouTube rep then personally got in touch with The Daily Dot and demanded the site amend its story to include the .gif. The rep insisted YouTube's response was "no joke" and that "the GIF really is our official response, it technically wasn't a decline to comment and would appreciate if you could update your story."
The Daily Dot updated the story March 25: "A YouTube rep originally replied to the Daily Dot's request for comment on this story with an animated GIF. We assumed it was a joke. Earlier today, the rep assured us it was not. 'The GIF really was our official response,' he wrote. Here it is."
News Corp. has criticized Google's dominance in the online search world for years. Last year, CEO Robert Thomson called the company "a platform of piracy."
Google's most recent blog post, entitled "Really, Rupert?" goes into detail countering claims made by WSJ in an article that ran March 19, entitled "Inside the U.S. Antitrust Probe of Google." The article asserts that, in 2012, "officials from the Federal Trade Commission surmised that Google Inc. used anticompetitive tactics and abused its monopoly power in ways that harmed internet users and rivals."
GOOG responded to the WSJ by quoting an FTC statement made by Chairwoman Edith Ramirez on March 25, 2015. The statement asserted the commission's findings were "in accord with the recommendations of the FTC's Bureau of Competition, Bureau of Economics, and Office of General Counsel."