On Monday, antitrust regulators of France fined Google $593 million, which around €500 Million because it failed to ink a fair deal with local publishers to host their news content on its platform. The latest move of the France authorities added it to the list of many big fines the United States Google took in Europe in the last few years.
GOOGLE was hit with a $593 MILLION fine by FRANCE’s antitrust watchdog yesterday for not properly complying with orders to hold talks with news publishers in GOOD FAITH & for failing to create plans to pay them for their content – AUSTRALIA also requires Google to pay for news
— charles benjamin (@chaleeboh3131) July 14, 2021
The ruling from the regulators comes after the tech giant failed to obey the April 2020 decision by the French regulators to make a deal with local publishers in good faith to carry snippets of their exclusive content on its Google News platform. As part of the ruling, the French Competition Authority ordered the company to give a compensation offer for its use of the news snippets within sixty days.
What is the statement of Google on the case verdict?
If Google fails to meet the deadline from the regulating agency, it will face penalty payments of up to one million dollars (around €900000) per day of delay. Google shared its disappointment in a statement shared with Forbes about the ruling, and it believes it had acted in good faith with the local news agencies and regulatory authority during the whole process.
Google further added that it is near to reach an international licensing deal with the French news agency (Agence France-Presse) but didn’t provide a precise timeline. The company will able to appeal against the fine, but it is not clear if it will choose to do so.
The sanction of five hundred million euros takes into account the exceptional significance of the violations observed and how the behavior of tech giant led to further delay of the proper execution of the law – which aimed to better take into account the worth of news content from publishers including news agencies on the platforms, according to the statement of the French Competition Authority, Isabelle de Silva.
French Competition Regulator hit Apple with $1.2 Billion Fine
The recent fine from the French authority is the second-highest antitrust penalty an individual company faced in France. Furthermore, the competition regulator fined Apple with a $1.2 billion fine last year after finding that the firm signed anti-competitive deals with two distributors over the sale of non-iPhone products like Apple Mac computers. In that case, Apple appealed against the ruling.
In Europe, publishers clashed with Google several times last year, accusing it of luring billions of euros in advertising money from the content publishers while influencing their content. Earlier this year, Google managed to reach a $76 million agreement to pay a group of one hundred and twenty-one French Newspapers. De Silva dismissed that agreement and slammed Google for limiting the negotiations’ scope.