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UPDATE 1-Google appeals France's 'disproportionate' $591 million fine in copyright row

UPDATE 1-Google appeals France's 'disproportionate' $591 million fine in copyright row

reuters.com · 09/01/2021 05:29
UPDATE 1-Google appeals France's 'disproportionate' $591 million fine in copyright row

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- Google GOOGL.O said on Wednesday it was appealing against a 500 million euro ($591 million) fine imposed by France's antitrust watchdog in July over the way in which it handled discussions with French news publishers in a copyright row.

The fine came amid increasing international pressure on online platforms such as Google, part of Alphabet Inc, and Facebook FB.O to share more revenue with news outlets.

"We disagree with a number of legal elements, and believe that the fine is disproportionate to our efforts to reach an agreement and comply with the new law," said Sebastien Missoffe, head of Google France.

"We continue to work hard to resolve this case and put deals in place. This includes expanding offers to 1,200 publishers, clarifying aspects of our contracts, and sharing more data as requested by the French Competition Authority."

The French antitrust body imposed the sanction on Google for failing to comply with its orders on how to conduct the talks with publishers. The case focused on whether the U.S. tech giant breached temporary orders issued by the authority, which said such talks should take place, within three months, with any news publishers that asked for them. nL1N2OP0GH

The watchdog said in its July 13 decision that the U.S. tech group must come up with proposals within the next two months on how it would compensate news agencies and other publishers for the use of their news. If it does not do that, the company would face additional fines of up to 900,000 euros per day.

($1 = 0.8465 euros)


(Reporting by Sarah White, Writing by Ingrid Melander, Editing by Louise Heavens)

((sarah.white1@thomsonreuters.com; + 33 (0) 1 49 49 56 85;))