The French Competition Authority fined the tech giant Google with a whopping € 500 million fine for not abiding by one of its decisions.
Who imposed the huge fine and why?
Google was fined € 500 million by the French Competition Authority, who is responsible for regulating competition in a state of non-compliance when it was ordered to negotiate fair deals with news publishers for the use of their content.
Why did the French Competition Authority fine Google?
The French Competition Authority has confirmed that Google disobeyed an April 2020 decision ordering the company to negotiate "in good faith" agreements with news publishers and news agencies that would allow Google any reuse of content protected by copyright.
In January, Google entered into a prominent and important digital copyright agreement with French publishers. Within the framework of this agreement, Google stated that it would negotiate the aforementioned individual licenses with members of the French press alliance that cover the relevant rights and access to a new service called "News Showcase".
Google's statement was challenged by the French Competition Authority. In particular, the French Competition Authority said that the negotiations did not include a discussion on fees for current uses of content, which are covered by "copyright”. The French Competition Authority also added that Google significantly restricted the field of communication through the media.
What were the consequences of the mistake?
The collected fine exceeded all previous ones. The French Competition Authority said that the tech giant had been fined a whopping € 500 million for the offense, not to abide by one of its decisions, according to the French news agency AFP. The French Competition Authority instructed Google to offer a fee to the publishers for the protected content it used within two months, otherwise the colossus would risk being fined up to € 900,000 per day. The record fine as we would call it is the latest development in a relentless fight for copyright between tech giants such as Google and Facebook and the news publishers.
Google has been targeted several times by the French and European Union authorities, which oppose monopoly activity in the market. The reason for targeting was for various active and activities that are considered to abuse market dominance.
France was the first country to adopt and enforce controversial new EU copyright laws, with the aim to provide broader protection to news organizations to ensure that they are fairly compensated for the dissemination of their content on the Internet.