Google Can’t Escape From Paying To News Publishers In France

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It seems like Google is terrible when it comes to acting on their promise with the French!

The fight between the Alphabet-owned search giant and news publishers has been going on for quite some time. A majority of the latter globally called out Google for using their content without paying for it, because of which, in the month of June, the tech giant finally agreed to pay them.

But now, it has been found out that Google didn’t make good on their promise with the French publishers to start the negotiations in a full-fledged manner.

A French appeals court has reminded Google of the previously agreed-upon deal once again, wherein they were supposed to open up negotiations with French publishers over the fair use of news content.

It seems, there is no escaping from paying to news publishers for Google going further, unless it decides to act otherwise.

Siding with France’s ‘Autorite de la Concurrence’ body aka their competition authority, the Paris Court of Appeal recently ordered the U.S tech giant to start the discussion of compensation with French publishers and news agencies as soon as they can.

French regulators, for long, have been arguing that Google must participate in a sit-down governed under a newly adopted law called “neighbouring rights“.

But Google, seeing how they held the majority of the leverage, threatened that instead of paying the news publishers, they would much rather pull the snippet display and thumbnail photo features from the French region.

In April, before agreeing to a compensation plan, the U.S search giant argued that French news agencies and publishers shouldn’t want to get paid because they benefit massively from the humongous amount of traffic that gets sent to their websites.

However, French regulators standing their ground announced that they wouldn’t tolerate Google abusing its dominant position.

Now, after this decision from the Paris Court of Appeals, the company, in a statement, has mentioned that their priority still remains to reach an agreement which would appease them as well as French publishers.

Google, however, has appealed to first receive some more legal clarity on the order.

French Publishers: Quality Journalism On The Decline Due To Google And Facebook

News publishers based out of France had pushed very heavily for the EU copyright reform. They have been continuously worried about quality journalism declining due to tech giants, such as Google and Facebook, which are not sharing the much-needed and well-deserved financial compensation with any publisher.

Close to 6.7 billion search queries get processed via Google every day. There exist countless sponsored ads along with organic listings of articles & news on the Google search result page. The search giant, however, shares no ad revenue with news publishers and this is something regulators across most countries feel is unfair.

Currently, in Australia, Google and Facebook are battling in a similar fight. In countries Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada and the U.K, the Alphabet-owned giant has already raised the white flag and said it would pay $1 billion over the course of the next three years to make sure publishers get their fair share.

Now it remains to be seen what arrangement Google strikes with France. And the final outcome will have far-reaching impact as news publishers in many other countries are silently, but eagerly, awaiting the final outcome.

What’s your stand on the matter? Do you think Google must share ad revenue or pay news publishers to display their news in Search result? Do let us know your views in the comment section below.


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