I think that the smart publisher wants Google News to feature his story because it can bring in a treasure trove of traffic. I think that a lot of smart publishers would be delighted to pay to have their stories included, and I doubt that Google will take that route because they would be deluged with garbage stories that would stink up their service if they were included.
If these publishers have content that is so damn good that people are stealing it they should not have a problem with Google displaying the title and first sentence. I don't think that the people in favor of this are makin' any money.
Overall I remained stunned at the absolute monopoly google has on search and its applications of showing search results that enable google to monetize results as much as possible....damn the consequences on all other web sites and web information.
A monopoly is not only control of market share (ie market share of search results) but also control of all knowledge and information. Often its that last part that enables the monopoly to endlessly increase its revenues ....and others pay the consequences.
Google controls all information about what occurs with its results, and how when it alters the look of search results what impact that has on other websites. The monopoly on search stretches into all verticals and categories.
I'm pleased to see government entities take on google. If its the EU some part of it could be the EU protecting its businesses against an American business. Who gets the money? So be it.
BTW: When the US feds were investigating google against claims by Yelp and TripAdvisor the feds decided to drop the case, but the internal investigations discovered that google used severe arm twisting (mafia like) monopolistic efforts to try and get what they wanted. Supposedly google was to change its processes....but in mobile they clearly maintained a way to diminish visibility for yelp and tripadvisor. Nobody acted on that though.
Somehow deconstructing the monopoly is not an easy task....but I'd suggest pursuing it and the North American governments should join with the EU. When a monopoly occurs, money from every pocket goes out and into the monopolist's pocket. It doesn't stop. From year to year, google's revenues go up endlessly. They haven't dropped. They control more of the search monopoly.
I'd take efforts to try and stem the flow.