France fines Google 500 mln euros over copyright row

France fines Google 500 mln euros over copyright row

France fines Google 500 mln euros over copyright row today (Tuesday).

An antitrust watchdog of France slapped a 500 million euro ($593 million) fine on Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O) on Tuesday.

It imposed fine because Google’s failure to comply fully with temporary orders the regulator had given in a row with the country’s news publishers.

France fines Google 500 mln euros over copyright row

The U.S. tech group must come up with proposals within the next two months on how it would compensate news agencies and other publishers for the use of their news.

If it does not do that, the company would face additional fines of up to 900,000 euros per day.

However, Google said it was very disappointed with the decision.

A Google spokesperson said that they had acted in good faith throughout the entire process.

Moreover, the spokesperson said that the fine ignores our efforts to reach an agreement, and the reality of how news works on our platforms.

“To date, Google is the only company to have announced agreements on neighbouring rights.”

News publishers APIG, SEPM and AFP accuse the tech company of having failed to open talks in good faith with them.

They accused it of failing to find common ground for the remuneration of news content online, under a recent European Union directive that creates so-called “neighbouring rights”.

Google breached temporary orders

The case itself focused on whether Google breached temporary orders issued by the antitrust authority, which demanded such talks take place within three months with any news publishers that ask for them.

In this regard, the antitrust body’s chief, Isabelle de Silva, issued a statement.

She said that when the authority decrees an obligation for a company, it must comply scrupulously, both in the spirit and letter (of the decision).

However, she noted that here, this was unfortunately not the case.

APIG, which represents most major print news publishers (Le Figaro, Le Monde etc.), remains one of the plaintiffs.

It remains plaintiff, in spite of having signed a framework agreement, since this has been put on hold pending antitrust decision, according to sources.


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