Google "G" logoSource: Android Central

What you need to know

  • France has fined Google with a €500 million (about $593 million) in a row over copyright with news publishers.
  • Google has been asked to come up with proposals on how it would compensate publishers for using their content within two months.
  • EU copyright rules allow publishers to charge a fee from online platforms that show snippets of their news.

France's antitrust watchdog has fined Google €500 million (about $593 million) for failing to negotiate licensing deals "in good faith" with news publishers for reuse of their content.

Isabelle de Silva, president of the French Competition Authority, said in a statement:

When the Authority imposes injunctions on companies, they are required to apply them scrupulously, respecting their letter and their spirit. In the present case, this was unfortunately not the case.

The French Competition Authority has asked Google to present "an offer of remuneration" for the use of protected content to news publishers within two months. If Google fails to do that, the search giant could be subject to penalty payments of up to €900,000 per day.

Google says it is disappointed by the authority's decision, but will comply with the orders. A Google spokesperson told Android Central:

While we are committed to complying with the Copyright Directive and the FCA's orders, this fine ignores the significant efforts we have made to reach agreements and the reality of how news works on our platforms.

We want to find a solution and reach definitive agreements but this fine is out of all proportion to the amount of money we make from news and we will be reviewing the decision in detail.

The European Parliament passed major changes to the EU's copyright rules in March 2019, forcing online platforms such as Google and Facebook to agree to licences with news publishers to use their content. France, which was the first to adopt the overhauled copyright rules, ordered Google to pay publishers for reusing snippets of their content in April last year.

The news comes just a month after the French Competition Authority fined Google €220 million for abusing its dominant position in the digital advertising market.