The antitrust decision to bring Google to France follows a period of nearly 7 months during which the search giant was supposed to reach an agreement with local publishers to use excerpts of their content on Google News. The fine is EUR 500 million and complies with the latest European regulations.
Unfortunately, Google did not propose a fair agreement and could not agree with Agence France-Presse and other publishers on a payment framework. Apparently, the fees Google was willing to pay were less than what it pays for weather data and dictionary definitions.
In addition to the fine, Google must enter into negotiations with publishers within two months or it will incur daily fines of up to €900 million.
Of course, Google can appeal to the courts because it believes it has “acted in good faith throughout the process.” It is interesting to note that the company has entered into an agreement with publishers in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia where similar laws have been implemented.
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