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Google Faces €250 Million Fine In France Over Clash With News Publishers

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France's competition authority has fined Google €250 million (nearly $271.7 million) for violating license negotiations with French news publishers. 

This case spotlights the ongoing disputes between technology giants and news organizations over content usage and remuneration.

Google has been scrutinized by French regulators for its practices concerning incorporating news content in its search results. 

In 2022, the tech giant agreed to negotiate licensing agreements fairly with news publishers.

It promised transparency in calculating the indirect revenue generated from featuring news content. 

However, the French watchdog said Google did not negotiate in good faith and did not provide publishers with the necessary information for fair compensation.

The agency said the tech giant did not cooperate adequately with a trustee overseeing the agreement's implementation.

Google: “We’ve settled because it’s time to move on"

Despite the charges, Google opted not to challenge the regulator's findings and chose to settle, indicating a desire to move beyond the dispute. 

Google said: “We’ve settled because it’s time to move on and, as our many agreements with publishers show, we want to focus on the larger goal of sustainable approaches to connecting people with quality content and on working constructively with French publishers.”

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The company has agreed to revise its methodology for calculating indirect revenue owed to publishers.

This case contributes to the broader global discussion on the obligations of tech platforms to compensate news organizations for their content. 

This issue has sparked similar debates and legislative actions in countries like Australia and the US, where tech companies like Meta have faced challenges over news content payments.

The French competition authority's decision against Google also touches upon using news content in training artificial intelligence technologies.

In December, The New York Times sued Microsoft and OpenAI over copyright infringement claims related to AI development.

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