French regulators fined Google $593 million for abusing its power as a search engine to favor news publishers in the country. The fine was issued by the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) on behalf of two French media groups, which had filed complaints against Google in 2014 and 2015.
In France, Google has been fined $593 million for violating the country’s privacy laws. This decision was made after a complaint from the French data protection authority.
PARIS— Google was penalized $593 million by France’s Competition Authority for allegedly breaching instructions to negotiate paid agreements with news publishers, adding to the pressure on the firm in a worldwide debate over how and if internet giants should pay for news.
Google had broken the French regulator’s April 2020 directives that the Alphabet Inc. GOOG 0.76 percent firm negotiate with publishers for the right to display samples of their material in its search results. After publishers complained that Google was avoiding France’s compliance of a new European Union copyright regulation, the court issued the directives.
Some French news publishers, such as Le Monde and Le Figaro, have subsequently signed compensated agreements with Google, while others, such as Agence France-Presse, have not.
The punishment, which is among the largest imposed by the French regulator in recent years, is based on the “extraordinary severity” of the alleged breaches, according to Isabelle de Silva, the competition authority’s director.
“When the Authority issues instructions to businesses, they must follow them meticulously, in both word and spirit. Unfortunately, that was not the case in this situation,” Ms. de Silva added.
A Google spokesperson said, “We are extremely unhappy with this decision.” “Throughout the whole process, we have behaved in good faith. Our attempts to reach an agreement were ignored, as was the reality of how news operates on our platforms.”
The business, on the other hand, said that it wishes to “turn the page with a final agreement.” We will examine the comments of the French Competition Authority and adjust our offerings accordingly.”
The French judgment is the latest flare-up in a worldwide fight that has simmered and sometimes bubbled for more than a decade over how much, if anything, publishers should be paid when their content is accessible through digital platforms.
Publishers say that news is a major draw for Google and other digital firms, and that they are entitled to a cut of the profits. The IT giants have long claimed that they already give publishers tens of billions of monthly page visits and that free linking is the lifeblood of the internet. However, when additional regulations are enacted, such as the European Union’s 2019 copyright legislation, they are increasingly negotiating compensated agreements as well.
In February, Australia enacted a legislation with features identical to the EU regulation, forcing Facebook to remove news from its site for five days before reversing direction after gaining certain concessions.
The Australian legislation was originally met with opposition from Google. However, it went on to sign a number of content agreements with publications, including one in February with News Corp, the parent company of The Wall Street Journal.
The French regulator concentrated its judgment on Tuesday on a few specific alleged Google breaches of its 2020 directives, such as pressuring publishers to sign agreements for a new product called News Showcase, which does not pay separately for news in general search results. The regulator also accused Google of refusing to pay news organizations such as AFP for stories that published on other websites that appear in Google search results. It also claimed that Google did not give enough information to publishers in order for them to determine how much money they should get.
French publishers may now ask Google for new agreements that conform with French law, and the authority has threatened penalties of $356,000 per day for any contract that isn’t fulfilled within two months of the publisher’s official request.
Google said on Tuesday that the French decision mostly applies to the time before September 2020, and that it has subsequently reached agreements with a number of French publications and is in discussions with others. Google also said that it is “on the verge of finalizing” a worldwide deal with AFP, which would involve compensation.
An AFP spokesperson did not reply to a request for comment right away.
Sam Schechner can be reached at [email protected]
All Rights Reserved. Copyright 2020 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
The french competition authority fined Google $593 million for abusing its dominant position in the market.
- google fined in france
- google news france in english
- google france
- google insurance
- google cloud insurance