Unique: French Antitrust Investigators Say Google Breached Its Orders On Talks With Information Publishers – Sources

PARIS: French antitrust investigators have accused Google of failing to adjust to the state competitors authority’s orders on methods to conduct negotiations with information publishers over copyright, two sources who learn the investigators’ report mentioned.

Within the 93-page report, often called a press release of objections, the investigators wrote that Google’s failure to conform was of an exceptionally critical nature, the sources mentioned. The competitors authority can impose fines of as much as 10% of gross sales on companies it deems to be in violation of its guidelines.

A spokeswoman for the competitors authority declined to remark.

In response to a Reuters request for remark, Google, owned by Alphabet, Inc, mentioned in a press release: “Our precedence is to adjust to the regulation, and to proceed to barter with publishers in good religion, as evidenced by the agreements we’ve got made with publishers previously few months.”

“We are going to now evaluation the assertion of objections, and can work carefully with the French competitors authority,” it mentioned.

In one of many first main offers in Europe to resolve a dispute over how web giants ought to share income with information publishers, Google agreed to pay $76 million over three years to a bunch of 121 French publishers, Reuters reported earlier this month.

The deal was introduced as a significant step ahead by each Google and the publishers who signed it, however different French publications that had been excluded had been livid.

The French report on Google’s negotiating ways comes at a time when nations world wide are pushing U.S. web giants comparable to Google and Fb to share extra income with information publishers. The difficulty gained worldwide consideration this week when Fb banned all information from its companies in Australia over a draft regulation there that will mandate arbitration.

In keeping with the 2 sources, the French investigators say Google didn’t adjust to requests from the watchdog to start out negotiations with the publishers inside a three-month deadline, and to offer all information the watchdog felt publishers wanted.

The publishers’ foyer that signed the take care of Google, APIG, didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark. French information company AFP, and one other media foyer group, SEPM — each of which didn’t signal a take care of Google — didn’t reply to requests for remark.

Reuters reached its personal world take care of Google in January on phrases which haven’t been publicly disclosed.

($1 = 0.8233 euros)

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