France has put its money where its mouth is by demanding hundreds of millions of dollars from Google as punishment for allegedly refusing to work under the country’s competition rules.
Americans may be shocked that Europeans are really giving Big Tech a beating. “The French Competition Authority fined Google $ 593 million for allegedly violating negotiation orders for paid deals with newspaper publishers,” The Wall Street Journal reported in July. The French regulator condemned Google for violating its April 2020 orders to negotiate with publishers the right to display extracts of their content in search results: bypass the implementation of France of a new European Union copyright directive. The President of the French Competition Authority Isabelle de Silva reportedly explained that the fine was adapted to the “’exceptional gravity’ of the alleged violations”: “When the Authority imposes orders on companies, they are required to apply them scrupulously, respecting their letter and their spirit. In this case, unfortunately, it was not.
Google has rejected accusations that it failed to cooperate in good faith.
“‘We are very disappointed with this decision,” said a spokesperson for Google. “We acted in good faith throughout the process. The fine ignores our efforts to reach a deal and the reality of how news works on our platforms. ‘”Nonetheless, Google would have sworn’ ” turn the page with a final deal. ‘” The company explained: ” “We will take the experience feedback from the Competition Authority and adapt our offers.
The newspaper observed that Google could be the victim of a daily blow for refusing to cooperate with the demands of the French government:
“The authority said French publishers can now ask Google for new deals that comply with French law, and threatened fines of $ 356,000 per day for every deal that is not reached within two months. the formal request of the publisher. “
France has hit Big Tech where it hurts in recent months. “The watchdog of competition in France fined Google 220 million euros ($ 268 million) on Monday for abusing its market power in the online advertising industry ”, CNBC reported in early June. The outlet continued, “Google has agreed to pay the fine and end some of its self-preference practices, the watchdog said.”
De Silva expressed in an ad (verified using Google Translate) that the French regulations will allow many competitors to really have their chances on the market: “This sanction and these commitments will make it possible to re-establish a level playing field for all players, and the ability of publishers to make the most of their advertising space.
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