Google pays 500-million-euro French fineWednesday, December 08, 2021
PARIS, France (AFP)— Google has paid a 500-million-euro (US$570-million) fine imposed by a French regulator as part of news copyright negotiations, a government official said Wednesday.
France's competition authority imposed the fine in July for failing to negotiate "in good faith" with media companies over the use of their content under EU copyright rules.
France's minister in charge of digital affairs, Cedric O, told lawmakers that Google had indeed paid the fine, even though the tech giant has lodged an appeal.
The regulator also ordered Google to present media publishers with "an offer of renumeration for the current use of their copyrighted content" within two months, or risk paying additional damages of up to 900,000 euros a day.
The EU adopted a new copyright directive in 2019 that created "neighbouring rights" protecting against the use of snippets of media content by platforms without remuneration.
French publishers sought the intervention of the competition authority after negotiations with Google failed to advance.
Google reached a deal with Agence France-Presse last month on compensation for neighbouring rights, the first of its kind.
Negotiations with two large associations of French publishers are still underway, but O noted that as the two month period had passed they could seek the imposition of the additional penalties.
"It's up to them to decide if they want to continue to negotiate or request the Competition Authority to impose the fine," he said.