Google Appeals French Regulators’ $591 Million Fine in Copyright Dispute

Google announced on Wednesday that it filed an appeal against a 500 million euro ($591 million) fine issued by France’s antitrust watchdogs in July over the tech giant’s dispute with a local media about paying for news content.

On July 13, France’s Competition Authority said in a press release that it fined Google about 500 million euros for failing to negotiate in good faith the company’s licensing and payment agreements with the country’s news publishers for any re-use of copyright content.

“We disagree with a number of legal elements, and believe that the fine is disproportionate to our efforts to reach an agreement and comply with the new law,” Google France Vice President Sebastien Missoffe said in a press release on Wednesday.

“We continue to work hard to resolve this case and put deals in place. This includes expanding offers to 1,200 publishers, clarifying aspects of our contracts, and sharing more data as requested by the French Competition Authority.”

In response, the watchdog said on Wednesday that the appeal filed by Google would not hold up the fine. This means that the tech giant is still obliged to pay the financial penalty levied by the regulator.

The French regulator said the appeal is going to be ruled on by Paris’ court of appeal. It did not provide details on how long the appeal process would be.


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