Google search homepage | Photographer: David Gray | Bloomberg
Paris: Google was fined 500 million euros ($593 million) in France after the search giant failed to follow an order to thrash out a fair deal with publishers to use their news content on its platform.
The Alphabet Inc. unit ignored a 2020 decision to negotiate in good faith for displaying snippets of articles on its Google News service, the Autorité de la concurrence said Tuesday. The fine is the second-biggest antitrust penalty in France for a single company.
France isn’t alone in trying to hold tech giants to account over their use of news. Australia earlier this year required digital firms like Facebook and Google to pay local publishers for news. Google has been increasingly paying publishers but on its own terms, with a $1 billion Google News Showcase to point readers to news content.
The company is facing a global onslaught as regulators across the world sharpen scrutiny of the world’s largest tech firms, looking at its advertising business, apps and search. In Russia Google is seeking an out-of-court settlement after a court ruling it must unblock the YouTube account of a TV channel owned by a U.S.-sanctioned backer of President Vladimir Putin.
“The sanction of 500 million euros takes into account the exceptional seriousness of the breaches observed,” said Isabelle de Silva, president of the French agency.