(es) London/ Vienna, July 14 2021
In a first halfway serious reverse for big tech, France has fined Google €500m for failing to negotiate “in good faith” with news publishers over payment for their content.
France’s competition regulator said the tech giant had ignored parts of its landmark ruling in April last year compelling it to negotiate over payment terms for content used in Google News and search engine results.
Isabelle de Silva, president of France’s Autorité de la Concurrence, said: “When the Authority imposes injunctions on companies, they are required to apply them scrupulously, respecting their letter and their spirit. In the present case, this was unfortunately not the case.”
Google’s negotiations with publishers and press agencies “cannot be regarded as having been conducted in good faith”, she said. Google’s negotiation strategy had appeared to be “aimed at avoiding or limiting as much as possible remuneration to publishers”.
Which took the view that the Global news industry should celebrate when Google was forced to negotiate with publishers in France
Meanwhile, the Johnson government continues with plans to sell off the critical but state-owned Channel 4 news broadcaster, despite its healthy profits and bringing work to regional producers. Sprightly and imaginative, Channel 4 is campaigning to be left alone. It owes its foundation in 1982, curiously, to then-premier Margaret Thatcher.