For Google, the decision rendered by the Competition Authority on Tuesday July 13 is a rebuff. The American company was fined 500 million euros for not negotiating ” in good faith ” with the French media. The newspapers seized the authority to enforce neighboring law, which gives them the possibility of obtaining remuneration for the resumption of extracts of their content in the search engine.

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Rendered in the wake of another fine of 220 million euros sanctioning Google for abuse of a dominant position in online advertising, this new decision could have consequences in relations between the French press and the American company in France, but also with other platforms like Facebook, or even elsewhere in the world.

The search engine wanted to avoid setting a precedent for compensation for press clippings

The Authority sanctions the harsh policy adopted by the Mountain View firm in this matter, as soon as the European directive on copyright was negotiated, transposed in France in 2019. “Google still does not seem to accept the law. However, it is not for an actor, even a dominant one, to impose his law ”, declared Isabelle de Silva, its president. The search engine wanted to avoid setting a precedent for compensation for extracts, which could spill oil or apply to other content. However, the position of the competition police force him to change his position.

“We want to turn the page with a definitive agreement. We will adapt our offers taking into account the feedback from the authorities ”, said the company, which tells itself, however ” very disapointed “, car “This fine does not reflect the efforts put in place, nor the reality of the use of news content on our platform”.

“Get out of its ruts”

“Google’s conflicting strategy ultimately risks costing it more”, judge an editor. The fine is the most important pronounced by the authority for non-compliance with one of its injunctions. Beyond the symbol, its amount is also much higher than the some 25 million euros per year negotiated in the framework agreement signed in January with the Alliance of the General Information Press (APIG, which represents the national dailies or regional and the regional weekly press).

In addition, this contract could be discussed again. The authority considers, in fact, that Google should not have refused to assess neighboring rights separately by combining them in a broader agreement with the use of entire press articles for a new service of its search engine. , called Showcase.

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