French anti-trust watchdog fines Google 500 mn euros
San Francisco: Tech giant Google has been hit with a 500 million euros fine by France’s competition authority for failing to negotiate “in good faith” with news organisations over the use of their content.
The authority has accused Google of not taking an order to do so seriously, the BBC reported on Tuesday.
The tech giant said the decision “ignores our efforts to reach an agreement”.
The fine is the latest skirmish in a global copyright battle between tech firms and news organisations, the report said.
Last year, the French competition authority ordered that Google must negotiate deals with news organisations to show extracts of articles in search results, news and other services.
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Google was fined because, in the authority’s view, it failed to do this.
In 2019, France became the first EU country to transpose a new Digital Copyright Directive into law.
The law governed so-called “neighbouring rights” which are designed to compensate publishers and news agencies for the use of their material.
As a result, Google decided it would not show content from EU publishers in France, on services like search and news, unless publishers agreed to let them do so free of charge.
Citing French authorities, The New York Times reported that Google has two months to come up with fresh ideas for compensating news publishers or risks further fines of up to 900,000 euros per day.
The French decision is the latest flashpoint in a battle between news publishers and internet platforms over the use of news content.
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