France’s antitrust regulator has fined Google nearly $600 million in a landmark legal decision Tuesday. It was also given the company two months to come up with proposals on how to pay publishers for their content or face more punishment. Google failed to comply by not acting “in good faith” in its negotiations with news agencies and publishers and refused to have a specific discussion on paying for news content online. Previously, Google announced last year that it would pay publishers more than $1 billion over the next three years through a new program for licensing news. If the search giant does not present compensation offers to publishers within the next two months, it faces additional penalties of up to €900,000 ($1.1 million) per day. „The fine ignores our efforts to reach an agreement, and the reality of how news works on our platforms,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
The European Union overhauled its copyright laws in 2019, making platforms such as Google and YouTube responsible for copyright infringements committed by their users. In separate investigations, the European Commission is looking into claims that Google is driving companies out of business with unfair practices regarding its search results page. Google has been repeatedly targeted by French and European Union antitrust authorities for various business activities seen as abusing its market dominance.