Science & Technology

France fines Google 500 million euros in copyright dispute

Paris, Jul 13 (EFE).- The French Competition Authority on Tuesday fined Google 500 million euros ($592M) for failing to negotiate the compensation of news publishers as ordered.

The Autorité de la Concurrence instructed the American tech giant to send a proposal for compensating editors and news agencies for the use of their copyrighted content within the next two months, under the threat of an additional 900,000 euros fine per day of delay.

“The 500 million euros sanction takes into consideration the exceptional gravity of the non compliance at hand and that Google’s behaviour will further delay the proper application of copyright law,” said Isabelle de Silva, president of the Competition Authority.

A bill passed in 2019 orders internet platforms to negotiate in good faith with news providers to find a way to compensate for the use of news content, under copyright protection and “neighbouring rights.”

The antitrust watchdog noted that Google “has not respected several orders formulated in April 2020.”

During negotiations, Google was imposing its own programs on news publishers, a move the Autorité de la Concurrence has found to not be in good faith.

“Google has refused, despite being asked multiple times, to engage in a concrete dialogue concerning the compensation for the current use of neighbouring-rights protected content,” they said in a statement.

The Competition Authority had slapped a 220 million euros fine on Google on June 6, for abusing its dominant position in the online advertising market.

Google accepted the sanction, which was the result of a negotiation, and agreed on a series of compromises in its advert policy. EFE


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