French News Outlets Launch Official Complaint Against Google’s Refusal to License Content

On November 20, a group of French media companies filed an official complaint with the country’s competition regulator over Google’s refusal to pay for rights to display news content. The complaint comes months after France became the first country to adopt Article 15 of the EU’s new Copyright Directive, which allows news publishers to negotiate for compensation when their content is used by companies such as Google. Following the implementation, Google announced that it will limit the way content published by French publishers is displayed in search unless they waive their right to compensation. If publishers refuse, only a headline and link will appear in Google’s search results. In their complaint, the publishers claimed that Google’s refusal to pay is an abuse of their dominant market power. Google has denied that they’re abusing their power, telling Agence France Presse, “Google helps internet users find news content from many sources and the results are always based on relevance, not trade agreements.” Earlier in October, the French government indicated that it will also be looking into the issue. Read more.


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