The American tech giant said on Wednesday that Alphabet’s Google is about to reach an agreement to pay French publishers for their news. This is the latest move to appease media groups, avoid regulators, and seek a level playing field with publishers.
Last week, the world’s most popular Internet search engine stated that it plans to pay global publishers US$1 billion (approximately Rs 7,325 crore) for news prices in the next three years, starting from the German and Brazilian media groups using the name News Showcase New products.
The transaction with French publishers will be made on the eve of the French Court of Appeals ruling on the so-called neighboring rights contained in the revised EU copyright rules, which allows publishers to charge online platforms for the display of news digests.
Google said in a statement: “The French Press Communiqués Alliance (APIG) and Google have been cooperating for one year on the issue of neighbouring rights under French law. These discussions have made positive progress in recent weeks.”
It said an agreement would include the acceptance of the rights of neighboring countries and the participation of the French group in its news presentation.
Groupe Les Echos CEO Pierre Louette, who is negotiating with APIG, said: “The past few weeks have allowed us to clarify many points and confirm that Google accepts the principle of compensation for news headlines.”
The French publisher is one of Google’s fiercest critics. In April, French antitrust authorities ordered the company to pay the price of its content to French publishing companies and news agencies in response to complaints from media groups.
© Thomson Reuters 2020
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