Google Hit With $593 Million Fine In France Over News Publishers Content

Google Office Shown: NY Times

On the morning of July 13th, Google was hit with big news being fined 500 million Euros or $593 Million for failing to comply with orders that were given to negotiate fair contracts for news publishers to post their own content. France’s Competition Authority who fined Google claimed that in April 2020, Google had a breach order that the company had to negotiate licensing deals with news publishers and agencies in order for them to reuse copyrighted content.

Back in January Google agreed with French publishers to a major digital copyright deal that entitled that they would negotiate individual licences with members of France’s press which would cover related rights and access to a service called News Showcase. France’s agency took this issue and claimed that there was a discussion between them and Google about uses of content that is covered by “neighbouring rights” and this was the main issue that the French Competition Authority had over Google. To date this is the largest fine that France has even handed out to any major corporation and all for failing to adhere over their rulings. Google was later ordered by a regulator to offer a payment to the French for the use of protected content for publishers. If payment is not made within the next two months or they may be faced with additional fines up to 900,000 euros per day and google claimed that they were very disappointed by this decision on Tuesday morning.

A Google Spokesperson reported to CNBC that “We have acted in good faith throughout the entire process,” and they were very upset at the decision because they felt as though they were being fair during the whole time. The spokesperson also said, “To date, Google is the only company to have announced agreements on neighbouring rights,” which is already significant in this issue as Google is the only company in the world that has regulated this. The spokesperson also added, “We are also about to finalize an agreement with AFP that includes a global licensing agreement, as well as the remuneration of their neighbouring rights for their press publications.” (CNBC News). This is good news for Google because now with all the pressing issues Google is starting to take a lead and trying to resolve the problem before it gets any worse.

This record fine is only the beginning as major tech giants such as Facebook and Google continue to have a copyright battle along with other major News Publishers. France however was the first country in the world to adopt the contentious new Eu copyright laws and the goal of this was aimed at giving news publishers more protection over their published content and to ensure that they are fairly compensated for their work. France is not the only country who has attacked Google overcompensation as Australia required Facebook and Google to pay media outlets for the rights to present their stories.

But as of now Google has agreed to pay $76 million over the next three years to 121 French news publishers to end this copyright battle once and for all.Will Google be attacked again by another country for compensation in the near future? As of right now with the massive copyright battle that is ongoing it would be no surprise if another country were to come after Google or Facebook for compensation and as more and more countries hop on this trend what will this mean for Google?

Will Google continue to be hit hard with international fines? What sort of impact will this have on Google’s stock price? Stay tuned to find out! Follow Emerald Investment Analysts to stay up to date on all your financial news, and let us know what you think down in the comments!

Written by: Aneeshan Balakaran



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