Google News: Google drops appeal against 500 million euro fine imposed by French regulator

France’s competition watchdog said on Tuesday it had accepted commitments from Google to settle the 500 million euro antitrust licensing fine over the payment of local news publishers for displaying content protected by copyright.

France fined Google 500 million euros in July last year after finding loopholes in the way it negotiated with publishers to pay them for reusing their content.

Google offered a first round of commitments in December 2021, which were scrutinized and last month the tech giant submitted new commitments over concerns raised by the French competition authority.

The French regulator said it decided to accept these commitments from Google.

“After issuing interim measures in April 2020 and then sanctioning Google in July 2021 with 500 million euros for non-compliance with these measures, the Autorité welcomes the commitments made by Google”, declared Benoit Coeure, president of the Competition Authority.

“For the first time in Europe, the commitments made by Google provide a dynamic framework for negotiation and sharing of the information needed for the years to come,” Coeuré added.

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Sébastien Missoffe, Country Manager and VP, Google France, said in a blog post that the French Competition Authority has approved “our commitments which will govern how these negotiations will be conducted in France in the coming years.”

“This includes the appointment of an independent administrator to monitor progress. This illustrates our desire to move forward with neighboring rights compensation for publishers,” Missoffe noted.

Google said it was committed to contributing to the news ecosystem and would continue to work to secure more deals with eligible French publishers and news agencies to further support journalism in France.

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