A blow for Google as the company is asked to pay French Publishers

by Simon Cohen

Recently, Google lost a critical case, and now it has to compensate French news publishers for using their content.

The search engine was accused of abusing its dominant position

This ruling that was made by French Competition Authority accuses Google of failing to comply with the French laws that require organizations to negotiate a fair price with publishers so that their content can be used.

Google was found to have harmed French news organizations that had been forced to comply with Google’s terms for allowing the free use of content in Google News.

This ruling also stated that instead of Google complying with the 2019 requirement that the search engine negotiates a fair payment with the news organizations, Google simply withdrew from showing news from French publishers all together.

Google has a maximum of three months to negotiate in good faith with the French publishers to pay for the right to use images, titles, and snippets, according to the French Media. Additionally, Google must submit a report within four weeks to show the details of how it is progressing as well as release follow up reports each month after that. 

This defeat is a major loss for the tech giant as it appears to create a precedent for the search engine having to pay news publishers for the right to use titles, snippets, and images. Google argued that it was doing good for the publishers by sending more traffic to the news organizations.

All in all, the French competition regulator has found otherwise and decided that Google’s action caused harm to the publishers.

The business model by Google of using content from news publishers in Google News appears to have come to an end in France, and the question is whether similar measures will be imposed by the search engine in other countries.

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