France fines Google €500 million in news copyright row
France fines Google €500 million in news copyright row

Google said that the fine “ignores our efforts to reach an agreement.” The tech giant now has two months to come up with a proposal on how to compensate France’s news publishers.

France’s antitrust authority fined Google €500 million ($593 million) on Tuesday, saying the technology giant did not negotiate “in good faith” with news companies and other publishers over using their content.

Why was Google fined?

News publishers APIG, SEPM and AFP accuse Google of not having talks with them in good faith to compensate them for their online news on the tech giantꞌs feed.

They claimed the tech giant did not find enough common ground with them under the “neighboring rights” EU directive.

The French antitrust case looked at whether Google breached orders they had carried out asking for these talks to take place three months from when news publishers asked for them.

APIG, that represents newspapers like Le Figaro and Le Monde is one of the plaintiffs in the case, although they had a framework agreement already.

The news groups were waiting on this antitrust decision to proceed in their own case.

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How have Google responded?

A Google spokesperson said the company was “very disappointed” about the €500 million fine imposed on them by the French antitrust decision.

“We have acted in good faith throughout the entire process,” the spokesperson said.

“The fine ignores our efforts to reach an agreement, and the reality of how news works on our platforms,” the company retorted.

The Google spokesperson said that it is “the only company to have announced agreements on neighboring rights.”

Google has been under fire in the European Union with Germany also lauching an antitrust investigation into its practices.

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