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Gulf Today Report
For the Internet giant and search engine bastion Google, this is a huge price to pay for malfeasance. France has slapped Google with a fine of $592 million for its travesty of faith with French media publishers. This involves a dispute over payments for their news.
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France’s competition regulator threatened fines of another 900,000 euros (around $1million) per day if Google did not come up with proposals within two months on how it will compensate publishers.
It is perhaps the biggest ever fine imposed on a firm for stepping out of line.
The dispute is part of a move by France and other European Union bodies to force Google’s hand in paying news publishers for content.
The French antitrust agency had ordered Google last year to hold negotiations with news publishers within three months, and fined the company on Tuesday for breaching those orders.
The firm said it was "very disappointed" by the decision.
There were allegations that Google had been showing articles, pictures and videos produced by media outlets when displaying search results without enough payment for the same.
Google has reportedly being making millions of euros from ads displayed next to news search results.
The firm initially refused to pay, saying that the traffic the searches send to their websites was payment enough.
It now seems to be relenting, and closing in on a pact with the news agency Agence France-Presse over the issue.
Google had repeatedly been pulled up by France and the European Union for exploiting its predominant position.
France had last month issued a 220-million euro fine to Google for abusing its ‘dominant position’ in the online advertising business.
It just goes to prove one thing: when you are a market leader, don’t abuse your power, position or superiority. It can just backfire.
It just goes to prove one thing: when you are market leader, don’t abuse your power or superiority. It can just backfire.
Google has only signed individual agreements with a few publications so far, including national dailies Le Monde and Le Figaro.
Google does not have to remove links to sensitive personal data globally, the European Union’s top court said on Tuesday as it ruled on the fight between the US tech giant and French privacy regulators.
A French appeals court on Thursday confirmed the country’s antitrust authority’s order to US tech firm Google to pay French publishing companies and news agencies for their content.
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