France: Google fined €500m in news sharing row

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Google has been fined €500 million by France’s competition authority for failing to negotiate “in good faith” with news organisations over the use of their content.

The authority accused Google of not taking an order to do so seriously.

The fine is the latest in a global copyright battle between tech firms and news organisations. Last year, the French competition authority ordered that Google must negotiate deals with news organisations to show extracts of articles within search results, news and other services. Google was fined because, in the authority’s view, it neglected 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.


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