Illustration: John Shakespeare.
IT PAYS little tax on its mammoth earnings, maintains a creepy international database of its users and now Google is helping Geoffrey Edelsten's smear campaign against journalists who write articles critical of the disgraced former doctor.
''Don't be evil'', indeed.
Edelsten, who in 1990 was found guilty of soliciting notorious contract killer Christopher Dale Flannery, aka Mr Rent-A-Kill, to assault a former patient, controls a website where users can vote for any one of a number of Australian journalists as the worst of the year.
Voting is in full swing for the prestigious award, for which CBD is again nominated after winning the inaugural 2009 prize.
Perhaps hoping to drum up a little business, the site has taken out Google ads that appear when users search for the names of this year's nominees.
They all carry the same text urging a vote in the contest together with a link to the site, australiasworstjournalist.com.au.
The site itself carries more ads sourced from Google - when CBD visited, it was spruiking respectable outfits including iPrimus, Tiger Airways and Monash University.
Does Google see anything wrong with taking money to promote a site, run by a convicted criminal, which describes various female journalists as ''stupid'', ''ugly'' and ''talentless''?
A Google spokesman said the company was looking into the matter but could not comment on individual advertisers.
''We investigate complaints about violations of our policies, and if we are notified of an ad violating our terms and conditions we will remove it,'' he said.
Illustrating how quickly a media personality can fade from view, CBD was able to track down adwords covering all but one of this year's nominees.
That would be bearded broadcaster Derryn Hinch, whose contract was not renewed by Fairfax Media's 3AW in August.
TREMORS from the prank call earthquake that has engulfed the Sydney studios of 2DayFM may well be rattling the china at the nearby headquarters of Macquarie Group.
The millionaires factory took a $11.6 million hit on Monday because it owns about 25 per cent of 2DayFM's parent, Southern Cross Austereo.
Southern Cross shares slumped 5.8 per cent in heavy trade as the market reacted to worldwide condemnation of the company following the reported suicide of a nurse caught up in a hoax call targeting Kate Middleton.
The shareholding is not the only link between the two companies, with the former head of Macquarie Capital, Michael Carapiet, sitting on the Southern Cross board.
Macquarie floated Southern Cross as Macquarie Media Group back in 2005 as yet another of the satellite funds for which the merchant bank was famous in those heady pre-GFC days.
The investment bank took a cornerstone stake in the group, and top gun Nick Moore also bought in.
According to the company's annual report, Moore owned a total of 3.9 million shares on September 24, both personally and through his company Cladela. If he still held them on Monday, that means he took a $250,000 hit.
If that's not enough to get Moore to start working the phones looking for a solution, there's also a raider on the register.
Allan Gray Australia, controlled by Simon Marais, has built a 9.65 per cent stake and word is he wants to shake things up.
It was perhaps a sign of trouble to come that Southern Cross chairman Max ''The Axe'' Moore-Wilton barely scraped in when up for re-election in October, netting just 54 per cent of votes cast.
AT first it was special. Then it was ordinary, but needed to be done again. Now, it's a done deal.
Mining junior Genesis Resources has had some difficulty making its mind up as to the status of a resolution put to shareholders at its annual meeting last month.
The resolution, which ratified the issue of 11.8 million shares to Malaysian company S Active Holding, was on the notice paper as a special resolution. But come the meeting it was put as an ordinary resolution and scraped home with 50.25 per cent of the vote.
''However, for the sake of clarity, the board has determined that this resolution be put once again to shareholders as an ordinary resolution at the next shareholders' meeting,'' Genesis told the market.
Last week the company reversed course. ''The board has sought and received formal legal advice that the resolution was properly, validly and effectively passed and there is nothing that requires clarification,'' it told the market.
''Accordingly, for the sake of certainty, the board has resolved to treat the issue as finalised.''
It followed up on Monday by announcing it had issued 18 million shares, representing 14.76 per cent of its current issued share capital, to ''a number of sophisticated investors''. All of this is bad news for temporary Ivanhoe chief executive Ines Scotland and her merry band of mining types, who hold 14 per cent of the company but now stand to be heavily diluted.
At the AGM, Scotland and company led a rebellion that saw all directors up for election tipped out.
But S Active, which didn't vote, has since called an extraordinary meeting to put them back on again.
That and the extra dilution will make Scotland's task much harder.
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