Google has been fined €500 million by France’s competition authority due to failing to negotiate honestly with news organisations over the use of their content.
The authority accused the global tech giant that it was not taking the order to negotiate in good faith with the news organisations in a serious manner.
This fine is the latest news emerging from a long global copyright battle between news organisations and technology companies.
The French competition authority had ordered Google to negotiate deals with news organisations last year in order to show extracts of articles in search results, news and also other services that the tech firm provides.
However, Google was fined as the authority claimed that it failed to do this over the course of the year.
France became the first country in the European Union to instil a new Digital Copyright Directive in the law in 2019, with this being designed so that publishers and news agencies are compensated for the use of their material.
Due to this, Google opted to not show content from EU publishers in France on services such as its search engine and news search, unless the publishers themselves agreed to let them do so for free.
News organisations felt that this led to Google abusing their market power, leading to complaints from organisations, including Agence France-Presse, being directed towards the competition authority in order to solve the issue.
Speaking with the BBC, Google stated that they are “very disappointed with this decision” and that they have “acted in good faith throughout the entire process”.
It added that it is still the only company to have announced agreements with organisations over these ‘neighbouring rights’.
Google now has to come up with proposals in the next two months over how it would compensate news agencies and publishers for the use of their news, and if it fails to do so, it will face fines of up to €900,000 every day.
While voicing its disappointment over the matter, Google stated that it would comply.
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