Antitrust: Google Fined Extra $590M In France
It seems that Google, the search giant, has really pissed off the antitrust agency in France; The country’s competition watchdog has again fined the company €500mn ($593mn) for copyright violations shortly after it fined the company $268mn for abusing its dominance in the online ad market.
- In a statement, the French Competition Authority said Google didn’t comply with its orders to put together an agreement with news publishers over the indexing of their news content on the search platform. Such indexing has been a major source of conflict between Google and news outlets, as the outlets often argue that Google indexes their content without payment and thus harms their business.
- As it is, the French competition agency last year ordered Google to negotiate with publishers and strike a deal for displaying snippets of their content on the Google News service, but Google didn’t oblige. Now, the search giant is facing a big fine for it.
- The latest judgement implies that Google has been ordered to pay nearly $900mn as fines to the French government in the span of just two months. The company has been in the crosshairs with the country’s regulators as of late, beginning with a $1bn judgement to settle a tax dispute in 2019.
- Google can appeal the latest fine levied on it by French authorities, whereas for the previous $268mn fine, the company obliged to pay it without a challenge.
- Google, the foremost unit of Alphabet Inc, isn’t new to major fines in countries making up the European Union (EU) such as France. In fact, the company is said to be gearing up to fight a $5bn antitrust fine against it from the EU in a September court showdown.
- For contextual purposes, $593mn represents around 1.5% of the $40bn net income that Google parent Alphabet reported in 2020, most of which came from online advertising on Google.