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Google fined 500 million euros for breach of French copyright law

France's competition regulator has fined Google 500 million euros (592 million dollars) in a dispute over copyright law.

France’s competition regulator has fined Google 500 million euros (592 million dollars) in a dispute over copyright law.

The competition regulator’s president, Isabelle de Silva, said in a statement on Tuesday that the internet giant had not negotiated with French publishers in good faith.

By refusing to discuss remuneration for the use of protected content, Google was deemed to have violated, among other things, orders issued by the competition regulator last April.

Google admitted disappointment with the decision, claiming that the negotiations had always been fair. However, the regulator’s feedback would be taken into account and its suggestions adopted, the company said in a letter.

The regulator also accused Google of failing to provide important information to its negotiating partners. Moreover, the internet giant apparently excluded part of the press from the negotiations.

Google countered by criticizing the decision for not referring to the current state of negotiations, but mainly to talks held between May and September 2020.

In addition to the fine, Google must now provide publishers and press agencies with an offer to pay for copyrighted material within two months of its use, and to inform the regulator accordingly. Failure to do so could potentially result in a daily penalty of up to 900,000 euros.

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