Google has been hit by a massive fine in France, by the French competition authority. The tech giant has been issued a €500 million fine for failing to negotiate “in good faith” with news organizations, for using their content.
Google gets a massive fine in France
The French competition authority said that Google did not take that order seriously. The company was supposed to negotiate with news organizations, which is something that the company was informed of last year.
Google was supposed to agree with news organizations to show extracts of articles in search results, news, and other services. Why only in France, though? Well, back in 2019, France actually became the first EU country to pass a new Digital Copyright Directive into law.
Thanks to that law, publishers and news agencies are supposed to be compensated for the use of their content. Following that, Google actually decided not to use content from EU publishers in France, unless they allowed it to do it for free.
Now, that caused some problems for Google. That didn’t sit well with news organizations, who decided to complain to the competition authority. And that brings us to the current situation.
Google doesn’t think this is fair, as it believes it “acted in good faith”
Google did have something to say, following the announcement of this fine. The company said: “We are very disappointed with this decision – we have acted in good faith throughout the entire process.”
Google was allegedly about to finalize an agreement with AFP (Agence France-Presse), which would include a global licensing agreement and payments for press publications, reports BBC.
So, what happens next? Well, Google has two months to come up with a proposal on how will it recompense companies for the use of their news content.
If Google doesn’t do that, it could be fined €900,000, and that’s something the company wants to avoid, of course. The ball is in Google’s court now, let’s see what will the company do.