European Publishers Unite to Negotiate with the Dominant Online Platforms

On July 30, French and German news publishers announced that they were working together to form a new joint venture to license news content to online platforms under the EU’s recently adopted Copyright Directive. Article 15 of the Directive created a so-called Publishers’ Right, allowing news publishers to protect their content online against unauthorized use by the online platforms. The French and German publishers are working through VG Media in Germany and l’Alliance de la presse d’information générale in France and expect the new licensing company to be available to all European publishers once established. France became the first country to transpose the Publishers’ Right into national law in July 2019. After Google refused to pay French publishers, the French competition authority issued an interim order in April 2020 requiring Google to negotiate with the publishers for compensation. While Google reportedly (link in French) appealed the order in early July, requesting for more details on “certain elements of the decision,” the head of the competition authority said on July 9 (link in French) that the negotiations were ongoing and that the authority was hoping to see some results in late-July or August.


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