April 29, 2010

Google Named World’s Most Powerful Brand

Despite an ongoing battle with China over censorship issues, a lawsuit levied against it by a coalition of visual artists, and criticism of its policy of linking to news stories without paying rights fees for them, Google is still the most valuable brand name on the planet.

The California-based search engine and technology firm topped the annual Millward Brown "BrandZ Top 100 Most Valuable Global Brands" list for the fourth straight year, beating out the likes of Coca-Cola, Microsoft, and McDonalds with a net value of $114 billion. In fact, their brand is currently worth 14-percent more than it was in 2009, the AFP reported on Wednesday.

Google has certainly been making headlines--some positive, others not--during the first quarter of 2010. In March, the company shut down its mainland China search engine following a series of cyber attacks that originated from within the country, choosing instead to redirect users to a Hong Kong site.

April also saw a group of artists, illustrators, and photographers, led by the American Society of Media Photographers (ASMP), file a class-action lawsuit claiming that the company's attempts to scan and display books were a violation of their copyrights. The plaintiffs of the case were barred from taking part of a previous lawsuit, filed by publishers and the Authors' Guild, in which Google was ordered to create a $125 million book rights registry for authors and publishers.

Nonetheless, Google remained the most valuable name in a list dominated by tech companies.

IBM was second on the list, as its brand value rose nearly 30-percent to $86 billion. Next was Apple, whose brand increased by nearly a third to $83 billion, followed by Microsoft with a net brand worth of $76 billion. China Mobile, General Electric, and Vodafone all finished in the top 10, while Samsung saw the largest increase as their net brand value soared 80-percent to $11.3 billion.

According to the AFP, "Factors taken into consideration in the ranking include customer loyalty and opinions regarding brands and how they influence earnings."


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