Google pays 500-million-euro French fine

Google pays 500-million-euro French fine


Paris: A government official said on Wednesday that as part of news copyright negotiations, Google has paid a 500 million euro ($570 million) fine imposed by French regulators.

The French competition authority imposed a fine in July for failing to negotiate “good faith” with media companies regarding the use of their content under EU copyright rules.

Cedric O, the French minister in charge of digital affairs, told lawmakers that Google did pay the fine, even though the tech giant has appealed.

The regulator also ordered Google to provide media publishers with “remuneration quotations for the current use of copyrighted content” within two months, otherwise it may pay up to 900,000 euros in additional losses per day.

The European Union passed a new copyright directive in 2019, which created “neighboring rights” to prevent platforms from free use of media content fragments.

After negotiations with Google failed to make progress, French publishers sought the intervention of competition authorities.

Google and Agence France-Presse reached an agreement on compensation for neighboring rights last month, the first of its kind.

Negotiations with the two major publisher associations in France are still ongoing, but O pointed out that as two months pass, they can seek to impose additional penalties.

“It’s up to them to decide whether to continue negotiations or ask the Competition Authority to impose a fine,” he said.

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