The French regulator has fined Google a hefty sum of money for failing to negotiate “in good faith” with media companies. The use of their material is fined 500 million euros under EU copyright rules.
Agency chief Isabel de Silva informed reporters that ID has been levied “the biggest fine ever” by the competition authority for the company’s failure to comply with one of its rules. The competition authority also ordered the US internet giant to offer media publishers “remuneration for the current use of their copyrighted material”. Failure to do so will entail the risk of additional damages of up to EUR 900,000 a day. In the chaos, a Google spokesperson said in a statement to AFP that “the company was “very disappointed with the decision.” We have acted in good faith throughout the negotiation period. This fine does not reflect the efforts made nor the reality of the use of news content on our platform. Earlier, a year earlier, in April 2020, the French competition authority ordered Google to negotiate “in good faith” with media groups as it agreed to comply with a new EU law governing digital copyright. had refused. The purpose of the so-called “neighborhood rights” is to ensure that news publishers are compensated when their work is shown on websites, search engines and social media platforms. Yet Agence France-Presse filed a complaint with regulators, saying that Google refused to proceed on paying for the content to be displayed in web searches.
News outlets battling dwindling print subscriptions have long sat on Google’s denial. The search giant announced in November that it had signed “certain individual agreements” on copyright payments with French newspapers and magazines, including top dailies Le Monde and Le Figaro.