Google loses appeal against payment talks with French news sites




Google has lost an appeal against an order from the French competition authority telling it to negotiate with news providers over fees it should pay for displaying previews of their sites.

The Paris Appeals Court on Thursday rejected the internet giant’s appeal against the interim measures imposed by the Autorite de la Concurrence (competition authority) in April.

However, the court amended the authority’s order to clarify that Google could improve its own services in the meantime as long as that didn’t affect the interests of the news sites.

The authority’s April order came after Google decided to stop showing previews for news articles in French search results unless the news providers consented to their use without a fee.

The internet giant took the step in response to new EU copyright rules, which provide that online publishers must have the authorisation of news media before they republish their news items.

The original media is also entitled to copyright fees under the rules, which came into effect in France in 2019.

The authority said at the time that Google might have abused its dominant position by imposing unfair negotiating conditions and frustrating the purpose of the rules, which was to give news publishers more of the value created by their content.

Google said it had appealed “to get legal clarity on some parts of the order” and would review the Appeals Court’s ruling, which can be appealed.

The firm said its priority was to reach an agreement with French publishers and press agencies. (dpa/NAN)

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