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Axel Springer, Longtime Google Foe, Turns Google Partner With AMP Launch Next Week

What's the German word for frenemy?

Die Welt

Axel Springer, the German publishing powerhouse, is no friend of Google’s. In fact, you could call it a nemesis: Its execs have a long-standing beef with the search giant over its aggregation practice, one that extends to the European regulatory front.

Still, Axel Springer is a digital publisher. And as one, it needs to shake hands with the devil sometimes.

Hence, one of Axel Springer’s properties, the German weekly Die Welt, will be a launch partner with Google’s Accelerated Mobile Pages publishing product, which is launching next Wednesday, Re/code has learned. Google confirmed the publication’s participation, but didn’t add more.

AMP, an open-source effort to load articles very quickly within mobile search, is Google’s response to mobile publishing initiatives from Facebook and Apple. It’s also a key strategy for Google to re-invigorate the mobile Web — and with it, the fortress of Google’s business, search.

The project is launching with several marquee publishers, including the New York Times, the Guardian, BuzzFeed and Vox Media.*

None of those partners is lobbying heavily for bruising antitrust charges against Google in the European Union, as Axel Springer is. The publisher’s participation in AMP, though, doesn’t mean that this animosity will end.

Die Welt is “always open to testing new platforms and technologies, including those operated by Google,” Manuel Adolphsen, an Axel Springer rep, wrote in an email. “Our participation in AMP is just another example [of] that.”

He added: “This does not mean, however, that we cannot disagree with Google on more fundamental issues.”

* Vox Media owns this website.

This article originally appeared on Recode.net.

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