Google appeals against £429m French fine in copyright payment dispute

1 September 2021, 13:54

A person walks past a Google sign
France Google. Picture: PA

The dispute is part of a larger battle by authorities in Europe to force tech firms to compensate publishers for content.

Internet giant Google is appealing against a 500 million euro (£429 million) fine issued by French regulators over its handling of negotiations with publishers in a dispute over copyright.

The dispute is part of a larger battle by authorities in Europe and elsewhere to force Google and other tech companies to compensate publishers for content.

Google France vice president Sebastien Missoffe said in a statement: “We disagree with a number of legal elements, and believe that the fine is disproportionate to our efforts to reach an agreement and comply with the new law.”

France’s anti-trust watchdog levied the fine in mid-July after it found Google had not negotiated in good faith with publishers over payments for their news stories.

The watchdog had issued temporary orders to Google in April 2020 to hold talks with news publishers within three months, and fined the company for breaching those orders.

“We continue to work hard to resolve this case and put deals in place. This includes expanding offers to 1,200 publishers, clarifying aspects of our contracts, and we are sharing more data as requested by the French Competition Authority in their July decision,” Mr Missoffe said.

The watchdog also threatened fines of a further 900,000 euros (£772,895) per day if Google did not come up with proposals within two months for how it would pay publishers and news agencies for their content.

France was the first of the European Union’s 27 nations to adopt the bloc’s 2019 copyright directive, which lays out a way for publishers and news companies to strike licensing deals with online platforms.

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

The Duke of Cambridge

William records audio walking tour for Apple

Virgin Media sign

Virgin Media TV services restored after power outage

Child on laptop

Social media a ‘conveyor belt’ for child abuse images, says NSPCC

Astronaut Tom Marshburn replaces a broken antenna (Nasa/AP)

Spacewalking astronauts avoid debris as they repair antenna

Virgin Media headquarters in Reading

Virgin Media customers unable to access some channels 10 hours after outage

Virgin Media sign

Virgin Media hit by TV service outage

Person using laptop

Christmas shoppers warned over fake online reviews

NHS app

NHS App is most downloaded free iPhone app this year

Tesla

Tesla officially moves headquarters from California to Texas

Broadband research

Which street in the UK has the slowest broadband?

Laptop stock

Women’s safety campaigners launch petition to bolster Online Safety Bill

MI6 Chief Richard Moore speaks at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London

Chinese spies are targeting the UK, warns MI6 chief

Alex Younger MI6 speech

MI6 chief: Help needed from tech sector to counter rising threats

MI6 headquarters

MI6 needs global tech sector help to counter cyber threat, says spy chief

The Walsh family meet the Toyota Human Support Robot

Toyota Human Support Robot takes part in first UK home trial

Elizabeth Denham

Outgoing Information Commissioner reflects on ‘big beast of a job’