Daniel Ritort

Google helps French newspapers going online to settle links dispute

French version of Google

French version of Google

Google has agreed to create a 60m euro fund to help French media organizations improve their internet operations.

It follows two months of negotiations after French news sites had demanded payment for the privilege of letting the search giant display their links.

The French government had threatened to tax the revenue Google made from posting ads alongside the results. The US firm had retorted it might stop indexing French papers’ articles.

In addition to the creating the Digital Publishing Innovation Fund, Google has agreed to give French media access to its advertising platforms at a reduced cost. The compromise allows it to avoid paying an ongoing licensing fee.

The office of the Presidency of France has stated that France is proud to have reached this agreement with Google, the first of its kind in the world.

Analysts said it appears Google have opened the door to other countries’ newspapers doing the same thing, because  this sets a precedent which other publishers may pursue in their own negotiations.

After the news was announced, Eric Schmidt, chairman at Google, stated that these agreements show that through business and technology partnerships they can help stimulate digital innovation for the benefit of consumers, their partners and the wider web.

The search giant has also made efforts to resolve a separate European dispute. It has filed proposals with the European Commission stating how it intends to deal with complaints made by Microsoft and more than a dozen other companies that it had broken competition rules.

The European regulator will now consider Google’s proposals, which have not been disclosed. If it rejects them and finds the firm has broken its rules, it has the power to fine the firm up to 10% of its global turnover which could amount to more than $4bn.

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