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Google Hit with €250m Fine Over Media Content

On Wednesday, French regulators announced a hefty fine of 250 million euros ($272 million) imposed on Google.

This penalty stems from Google’s violation of an agreement regarding compensation terms for utilizing media content online.

Specifically, the French Competition Authority accused Google of breaching commitments made in 2022 and failing to engage in sincere negotiations with news publishers regarding fair compensation for content usage.

The issue at hand underscores a broader concern: online platforms like Google profiting substantially from news content without adequately sharing revenues with the content creators.

In response to this imbalance, the EU introduced “neighbouring rights” copyright laws, enabling print media to demand compensation for their content’s utilization.

France has been at the forefront of testing these regulations, with Google and Facebook eventually agreeing to compensate French media for displayed articles in web searches, albeit initially resisting.

In 2022, French regulators accepted Google’s commitments to fairly negotiate with news organizations, mandating the tech giant to present a transparent payment offer to news groups within three months of receiving a copyright complaint.

This development stems from a case filed in 2019 by organizations representing French magazines, newspapers, and Agence France-Presse (AFP) against Google.

Despite initial resistance, Google was compelled to comply with the regulations after being fined 500 million euros ($530 million) in 2021 for failing to negotiate in good faith.

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