France has slammed a fine of £425million on Google for failing to negotiate ‘in good faith’ with media companies on usage of their content in line with EU copyright rules.
While talking about the fine, the agency’s chief, Isabelle De Silva said so far, the fine is ‘the biggest ever fine’ to be imposed by the Competition Authority over the failure of the company to abide by one of its rulings.
While talking to AFP about the fine in a statement, Google spokesperson said the company was ‘very disappointed’ by the decision.
He said: “We have acted in good faith during the entire negotiation period. This fine does not reflect the efforts put in place, nor the reality of the use of news content on our platform.
“This decision is mainly about negotiations that took place between May and September 2020. Since then, we have continued to work with publishers and news agencies to find common ground.”
The French competition authority directed Google in April 2020 to negotiate ‘in good faith’ with media groups after its refusal to comply with a new EU law guiding digital copyright.
This was aimed at ensuring that news publishers are adequately compensated when their content is displayed on search engines, websites, and social media platforms.
But in September 2020, news publishers like Agence France-Presse (AFP) filed a complaint with regulators and made it known that Google was not moving forward on paying to show content in web searches.
However, in September 2020, the long-running legal row’s attention was focused on claims that Google has been displaying articles, pictures, and videos created by media groups when search results are being displayed without adequate compensation.
In a ruling published on its website, the Competition Authority also directed the US Google to provide media publishers with ‘an offer of remuneration for the current use of their copyrighted content’, or stand the risk of paying extra damages of up to £750,000 per day.