Google was fined $593 million by French antitrust authorities on Tuesday for failing to barter a deal in “good religion” with publishers to hold information on its platform, a victory for media firms which have been preventing to make up for a drop in promoting income that they attribute to the Silicon Valley big.
French officers mentioned Google ignored a 2020 order from French regulators to barter a licensing cope with publishers to make use of brief blurbs from articles in search outcomes. The case has been carefully watched as a result of it represents one of many first makes an attempt to use a brand new copyright directive adopted by the European Union meant to pressure web platforms like Google and Fb to compensate information organizations for his or her content material.
“When the authority imposes injunctions on firms, they’re required to use them scrupulously, respecting their letter and their spirit,” Isabelle de Silva, president of the French antitrust physique, mentioned in a assertion.
Google has two months to give you recent concepts for compensating information publishers or dangers additional fines of as much as 900,000 euros, about $1.065 million, per day, the French authorities mentioned.
The French determination is the newest flash level in a battle between information publishers and web platforms over using information content material. In Europe and elsewhere, policymakers have more and more sided with publishers who argue web firms are benefiting from the unfair use of their content material. Firms like Google and Fb have argued they’re driving visitors to the information web sites.
Web firms fought a copyright legislation handed earlier this 12 months in Australia that gave publishers extra negotiating leverage. It led to a showdown by which Fb briefly eliminated information from its platform for customers contained in the nation, earlier than rapidly relenting.
As policymakers crack down, Google has been making an attempt to strike offers with particular person publishers. In October, the corporate mentioned it could spend greater than $1 billion to license content material from worldwide information organizations. And in February, it introduced a three-year cope with Information Corp., proprietor of The New York Put up and The Wall Avenue Journal and different distinguished information retailers.
Google, which might attraction the high-quality, mentioned it was “very disillusioned” with the French determination and that it was persevering with to barter with publishers. “We have now acted in good religion all through the complete course of,” Google mentioned in a press release. “The high-quality ignores our efforts to succeed in an settlement, and the truth of how information works on our platforms.”
The French authorities mentioned Google positioned unfair restrictions on its negotiations with publishers, together with requiring them to take part within the firm’s new licensing program, Information Showcase. Google had reached a cope with some distinguished French information retailers — together with Le Monde, L’Obs and Le Figaro — however others raised considerations concerning the course of.
Google mentioned it was finalizing a world licensing cope with Agence France-Presse, one among France’s largest media organizations.