Saturday, July 24

France fined Google 500 million for not negotiating “in good faith” with the media

The French Competition Authority imposed a fine of 500 million euros on Google on Tuesday for not having “negotiated in good faith” compensation for the media for the use of its news content, which is required by law French national. The agency also ordered the US giant to present a remuneration offer to publishers and press agencies for the use of its protected content, under the threat of having to pay 900,000 euros for each day of delay.

Google will pay French news publishers for the copyright of their articles

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This French law, approved in 2019, obliges internet platforms to negotiate in good faith with the media compensation for the use of their news content on their search engines, protected by so-called “related rights.” However, the Competition Authority has found after an in-depth investigation that Google “has not respected various legal requirements”.

In addition, the French Authority points out that the negotiation of the Silicon Valley giant with publishers and press agencies “cannot be considered to have been carried out in good faith”, since Google required them to be part of a program called Publisher Curated News, with a specific service called Showcase.

Google “refused” to carry out these remuneration talks with all the actors involved in the media landscape. Last year it reached an agreement with several newspaper publishers, but did not want to sit down with some magazines or press agencies, details the Competition Authority.

“The sanction of 500 million euros takes into account the exceptional gravity of the breaches found and that Google’s behavior has meant delaying the proper application of the law on related rights,” said the president of the organization, Isabelle de Silva, in the statement announcing the sanction.

Google considers the resolution unfair

“We are very disappointed with this resolution; we have acted in good faith throughout the process,” explained a Google spokeswoman in a statement sent to “The sanction does not take into account our efforts to reach an agreement, nor the reality of how the news works on our platforms. To date, Google is the only company that has announced agreements on related rights,” says the same source .

The technology giant also anticipates that it is “about to finalize an agreement” with a press agency, one of the actors that Google had now kept out of its remuneration agreements. This pact is being negotiated specifically with “the AFP (Agence France Presse) and includes a global license agreement, as well as the payment of related rights for its press publications,” the Google spokeswoman has advanced.

This sanction is the third setback that Google has received in France in recent months in the form of a millionaire sanction. The Competition Authority imposed a fine of 220 million euros on June 6 for abuse of its dominant position in the online advertising market. That decision was the result of a negotiation with Google, which accepted the charges and assumed a series of commitments in its advertising policy.

Last December, the French National Commission for Informatics and Freedoms (CNIL) fined Google with another 100 million euros and Amazon with 35 million for its “cookie” policies, which were introduced into the computers of its users for advertising purposes. .

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