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France fines Google over news copyright

Paris, France | Xinhua | France on Tuesday fined Google 500 million euros (592 million U.S. dollars) for failing to offer a fair deal to local media companies for hosting their news content.

The French Authority of Competition ordered Google to present, within the next two months, “an offer of remuneration for the current use of their copyrighted content.”

If the U.S. tech giant fails to compensate publishers, it would risk an additional fine of up to 900,000 euros (1.06 million dollars) per day, the French anti-trust body added.

In April 2020, the French watchdog asked Google to negotiate “in good faith” with media groups to ensure that media companies and other publishers are compensated when it hosts their news content on its platforms.

“When the authority decrees an obligation for a company, it must comply scrupulously, both in the spirit and letter (of the decision). Here, this was unfortunately not the case,” said Isabelle de Silva, the chief of the French competition regulator.

“Google’s negotiations with publishers and press agencies cannot be regarded as having been conducted in good faith,” she said, adding that Google refused to have “a specific discussion” on the compensation for copyright while negotiating the launch of its Google Showcase news service.



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