France’s antitrust watchdog fines Google $801million over copyright row


PARIS – France’s antitrust watchdog slapped a €500 million (S$801 million) fine on Alphabet’s Google for failing to comply with orders it had given in a with the country’s news publishers.

The United States tech giant must within the next two months come up with proposals on how it would compensate news agencies and other publishers for the use of their news. If it does not do that, it would face additional fines of up to €900,000 per day.

News publishers APIG, SEPM and AFP accuse the tech giant of having failed to open talks in good faith with them to find common ground for the remuneration of news content online, under a recent EU (European Union) directive that creates so-called “neighbouring rights“.

The case in itself focused on whether Google breached orders issued by the antitrust authority, which demanded such talks take place within three months with any news publishers that ask for them.

APIG, which represents most major print news publishers, including French publications Le Figaro and Le Monde, remains one of the plaintiffs, in spite of having signed a framework agreement, since it has been put on hold pending antitrust decision, sources have told Reuters.

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