Tech giant Google has been hit with a hefty fine of €500 million ($593 million) by France's competition authority due to failing to negotiate with news organizations over the use of Google's content.
The authority is of a firm stance saying that Google is not taking the order to pay the fine seriously.
Google retorted by speaking with the BBC about the decision saying, the authority "ignores our efforts to reach an agreement."
So What Exactly Happened?
This is just another episode of a prolonged series of confrontations between the tech giant and the French competition authorities, as per BBC.
Last year, the authorities ordered that Google must come to negotiate deals with news outlets and organizations to show the extracts of articles of news, search results, and other services.
The reason Google was fined is that the French authority's view deemed the tech giant to have failed to negotiate in terms of "good faith." The law called "neighboring rights" is designed for the publishers and news agencies to be compensated for the use of their material.
In light of the recent developments, Google has now opted not to show the content from EU publishers in France. Search results, news, and the like are not to be posted within Google's search engine unless the publishers agree that it would be free of charge.
News Organizations Response
As a result, news outlets and organizations view the response of Google as a clear abuse of its market power.
Two organizations who represent press publishers and Agence France-Presse (AFP) have complained to the competition authority because of this.
A spokesperson for Google went out and said, "We are very disappointed with this decision - we have acted in good faith throughout the entire process."
Google's Supposed Moves to Ease Tension
Google has said that it is the only company, to date, to announce agreements on the so-called "neighboring rights," also adding that it was in the process of finalizing an agreement with the AFP.
The agreement involved a global licensing agreement, as well as payments for the press publications.
The fine is already a considerable amount to what Google had already agreed to pay French publishers, which was reported to be a sum of $76 million for a group of 121 publishers, as reported by TechCrunch.
As for the new ruling, within the next two months, Google must come up with various proposals explaining how they will compensate companies for using their news materials. Failure to do so will leave the company an additional fine of €900,000 ($1,065,200) for each passing day.
Isabelle de Silva, a member of France's competition authority had this to say: "When the authority decrees an obligation for a company, it must comply scrupulously ... Here, this was unfortunately not the case."
Google has yet to release a follow-up statement as of this writing.
This article is owned by Tech Times
Written by Alec G.