Breaking News
0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your Investing.com experience. Save up to 40% More details

Exclusive: French antitrust investigators say Google breached its orders on talks with news publishers - sources

WorldFeb 23, 2021 03:00PM ET
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
 
2/2 © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man walks past a logo of Google in Zurich 2/2

By Mathieu Rosemain

PARIS (Reuters) - French antitrust investigators have accused Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc's Google of failing to comply with the state competition authority's orders on how to conduct negotiations with news publishers over copyright, two sources who read the investigators' report said.

In the 93-page report, known as a statement of objections, the investigators wrote that Google's failure to comply was of an exceptionally serious nature, the sources said.

This comes amid complaints by French news publishers that Google failed to hold talks with them in good faith to find an agreement. The same publishers were not part of the $76 million three-year deal signed between the U.S. firm and and a group of 121 publications, as Reuters reported earlier this month.

The agreement was presented as a major step forward by both Google and the publishers who signed it, but left many publications infuriated.

The French competition authority can impose fines of up to 10% of sales on firms it deems in violation of its rules. Google's annual sales amounted to about $183 billion in 2020.

The investigative report is a key element in the authority's sanction process, but it is up to the watchdog's board, led by Isabelle de Silva, to decide whether to issue a penalty.

The biggest penalty ever levied by the French antitrust authority was against iPhone maker Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) last year, with a 1.1 billion-euro ($1.34 billion) fine for anti-competitive behaviour towards its distribution and retail network.

A spokeswoman for the competition authority declined to comment.

In response to a Reuters request for comment, Google said in a statement: "Our priority is to comply with the law, and to continue to negotiate with publishers in good faith, as evidenced by the agreements we have made with publishers in the past few months."

"We will now review the statement of objections, and will work closely with the French competition authority," it said.

The French report on Google's negotiating tactics comes at a time when countries around the world are pushing U.S. internet giants such as Google and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to share more revenue with news publishers. The issue gained international attention this week when Facebook banned all news from its services in Australia over a draft law there that would mandate arbitration.

According to the two sources, the French investigators say Google did not comply with requests from the watchdog to start negotiations with the publishers within a three-month deadline, and to provide all data the watchdog felt publishers needed.

The publishers' lobby that signed the deal with Google, APIG, did not immediately reply to a request for comment. French news agency AFP, and another media lobby group, SEPM - both of which did not sign a deal with Google - did not respond to requests for comment.

Reuters reached its own global deal with Google in January on terms that have not been publicly disclosed.

($1 = 0.8228 euro)

Exclusive: French antitrust investigators say Google breached its orders on talks with news publishers - sources
 

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at Investing.com’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
Post also to:
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
 
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
 
Post
 
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
1000
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's Investing.com's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
or
Sign up with Email