This Tuesday, the 13th, the Google was fined in 593 million euros by the Competition Authority french for not negotiating “in good faith” with news sites to broadcast news in search results.
The fine comes after an order from French authorities, made in April 2020, was ignored by Google.
In it, regulators ruled that the company would need to negotiate licensing agreements with publishers to feature stories in search results.
While Google argues that it is promoting the content of the sites, companies in the field accuse the giant is responsible for the drop in advertising revenue.
Until April, Sundar Pichai’s company had already made agreements with The world it’s at Le Figaro, French news editors, while others have not followed suit. Google said it is “about to finalize” a global deal with the French AFP.
“We acted in good faith throughout the entire process,” Google said in a statement. “The fine ignores our efforts to reach an agreement and the reality of how news works on our platforms.”
As in Australia, Google’s proposal is to pay for news through Google News Showcase, new program that “pays publishers for high-quality content”.
So instead of paying for content that would appear in search results, the company would do so through its own news-oriented platform.
“When the authority imposes orders on companies, they are obliged to apply them scrupulously, respecting their letter and spirit,” said Isabelle de Silva, president of the French antitrust agency, in a statement.
Now the search engine company has two months to come up with new ideas to compensate the news sites. If you don’t, you run the risk of receiving daily fines of up to 900,000 euros.
Google against the world
The daughter company of Alphabet is in a global struggle to determine how (and if) technology companies should pay for the news.
A European Union is one of the main blocks in the battle, but the Australia it was the last to pass legislation that gave the country’s news sites more bargaining power.
Before the law was passed, Google even changed search results in Australia. According to the company itself, local news links have been removed and reached “about 1% of Australian users”.
Later, Sundar Pichai’s company threatened to completely close the search service in the country. if the government passed the legislation, but nothing was done.
Now Google is trying to close deals with individual publishers around the world, just as it was doing in France.
According to information from Wall Street Journal, the company said in October it would spend $1 billion to license content from news sites. In February, it closed a three-year deal with News Corp., owner of giants like the New York Post and the own WSJ.