Google appeals a 500 million Euro ($591 Million) fine imposed by French regulators for its handling of negotiations between publishers in dispute over copyright.
This dispute is part of a wider battle by European authorities to force Google and other tech firms to compensate publishers for content.
Sebastien Missoffe, Vice President of Google France, stated in a press release that “we disagree with a variety of legal elements” and said that the fine was excessive compared to our efforts to reach agreement and comply the new law.
France’s antitrust watchdog levied the fine in mid-July after it found Google hadn’t negotiated in good faith with publishers over payments for their news stories. In April 2020, the watchdog issued temporary orders to Google to hold talks with news publishers within three months and fined it for violating those orders.
“We are working hard to resolve this matter and to put in place deals. Missoffe stated that this included expanding the offers to 1200 publishers and clarifying certain aspects of our contracts. She also said that they were sharing more data, as requested by France’s Competition Authority in its July Decision.
Antitrust watchdog threatened to impose additional fines of 900,000.00 euros (around $1,000,000) per day on Google if it didn’t submit proposals within two months about how it will pay news agencies and publishers for their content.
France was the first European Union member nation to adopt 2019 copyright directive. This allows publishers and news companies to make licensing agreements with online platforms.