Google fined 250 million euro in French clash with news publishers

Google fined 250 million euro in French clash with news publishers

By Samuel Stolton

Alphabet Inc.’s Google has been fined €250 million ($271 million) by France’s competition watchdog for failing to broker agreements with media outlets for publishing links to their content and for plundering press content to train its AI technology.


The move from the French authority marks another escalation in its bid to get Google to deal with the media sector more fairly, after having previously slapped the US tech giant with a €500 million fine for similar abuses. 

The regulator said Wednesday that Google had failed to respect commitments to negotiate deals with press publishers in good faith, and that it had trained its “Bard” generative AI chatbot — now called Gemini — on press content, without notifying the authority or the publishers. 

Google didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

The French antitrust authority has been seeking to force Big Tech firms to negotiate deals with press publishers for republishing their content. Their so-called neighboring rights were targeted as part of the European Union’s 2019 Copyright Directive. 

The German antitrust authority previously ditched an investigation into Google’s News Showcase service after the company settled its concerns. In 2014, Google withdrew its News service from Spain after the country adopted laws that allow Spanish publications to charge Google for publishing snippets to their work. Google News was eventually reinstated in Spain. 

First Published: Mar 20 2024 | 2:29 PM IST

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