July 13, 2021
PARIS (Reuters) – France’s antitrust watchdog slapped a 500 million euro ($593 million) fine on Alphabet’s Google on Tuesday for failing to comply fully with temporary orders it had given in a row with the country’s news publishers.
The U.S. tech giant must within the next two months come up with proposals on how it would compensate news agencies and other publishers for the use of their news. If it does not do that, it would face additional fines of up to 900,000 euros per day.
News publishers APIG, SEPM and AFP accuse the tech giant of having failed to open talks in good faith with them to find common ground for the remuneration of news content online, under a recent EU directive that creates so-called “neighbouring rights”.
The case in itself focused on whether Google breached temporary orders issued by the antitrust authority, which demanded such talks take place within three months with any news publishers that ask for them.
APIG, which represents most major print news publishers (Le Figaro, Le Monde etc.), remains one of the plaintiffs, in spite of having signed a framework agreement, since it has been put on hold pending antitrust decision, sources have told Reuters.
(Reporting by Christian Lowe; Writing by Mathieu Rosemain and Ingrid Melander; editing by John Irish)