Google fined $ 593 million in France amid news posting battle

Google was fined $ 593 million on Tuesday by France’s antitrust watchdog for failing to properly comply with orders to speak in “good faith” with news publishers and for not having made plans to pay them for their content.

In addition to collecting the fine, the French antitrust authority said the US tech giant now has two months to present a new publisher compensation plan. If the company fails to do so, France plans to impose additional fines on it of more than $ 1 million per day.

The French fine comes as countries around the world seek to force companies like Google and Facebook to route traffic to news sites to share more of their revenue.

In February, Australia passed a law requiring Google and Facebook to pay for news – and New York Post parent company News Corp. month.

But the French fine – which was imposed in response to complaints from French press publisher Agence France-Presse, as well as industry groups representing major newspapers like Le Monde and Le Figaro – shows Google has a long way to go. go through before reaching a truce with regulators and publishers.

French regulators say they ordered Google in 2020 to hold fair talks on information payments within three months of any news publisher’s request – and accuse Google of failing to comply.

The French fine comes as countries around the world seek to force companies like Google and Facebook to route traffic to news sites to share more of their revenue.
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During the negotiations, Google is said to have “restricted the scope of the negotiations without justification”, in particular by requiring publishers to participate in a new partnership program called “News Showcase”. The restrictions violated the government’s order to negotiate in good faith, the French competition authority said.

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

Google responded that it was extremely disappointed with the fine and dismissed accusations it had acted in bad faith.

Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google
Google, led by CEO Sundar Pichai, said it was extremely disappointed with the fine and dismissed accusations it acted in bad faith.
REUTERS

“We acted in good faith throughout the process. The fine ignores our efforts to reach an agreement and the reality of how information works on our platforms, ”a spokesperson said.

“Our goal remains the same: we want to turn the page with a definitive agreement. We will take into account feedback from the Competition Authority and adapt our offers, ”added the company.

With post wires


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