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Business & Finance

France fines Google 500 million euros over copyright row

  • US tech giant must within the next two months come up with proposals on how it would compensate news agencies and other publishers for the use of their news
  • Google expresses disappointment over decision
13 Jul 2021

PARIS: France's antitrust watchdog slapped a 500 million euro ($593 million) fine on Alphabet's Google on Tuesday for failing to comply fully with temporary orders it had given in a row with the country's news publishers.

The US tech giant must within the next two months come up with proposals on how it would compensate news agencies and other publishers for the use of their news. If it does not do that, it would face additional fines of up to 900,000 euros per day.

News publishers APIG, SEPM and AFP accuse the tech giant of having failed to open talks in good faith with them to find common ground for the remuneration of news content online, under a recent EU directive that creates so-called "neighbouring rights".

France fines Google 220m euros over online ad dominance

The case in itself focused on whether Google breached temporary orders issued by the antitrust authority, which demanded such talks take place within three months with any news publishers that ask for them.

APIG, which represents most major print news publishers (Le Figaro, Le Monde etc.), remains one of the plaintiffs, in spite of having signed a framework agreement, since it has been put on hold pending antitrust decision, sources have told Reuters.

Alphabet's Google said it was "very disappointed" by France's antitrust watchdog decision.

"The fine ignores our efforts to reach an agreement, and the reality of how news works on our platforms", a Google spokesperson said.

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