Google calls the $271M fine disproportionate, agrees to changes demanded in future negotiations

Google calls the fine disproportionate

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Google has been hit with a €250 million ($271 million) fine in France due to the way it conducted negotiations with publishers. It was also found to have used news content to train the native chatbot, Gemini, without informing the publisher or authority!

The same French Competition Authority had previously fined Google $500 million for similar violations. France has stringent copyright laws to prevent big corporations from exploiting small publishers.

Google’s response to the fine

In the official blog post, Google confirmed that it would accept the changes recommended by the French competition authority to put an end to the ongoing matter.

The ADLC also demanded changes in the way we negotiate, which we accepted as part of an agreement reached to finally close this file which has been open for too long. We have compromised because it is time to turn the page and, as our numerous agreements with publishers prove, we want to focus on sustainable approaches in order to connect Internet users with quality content and work constructively with publishers.

Later in its response, Google called the fine disproportionate and highlighted the effort it put into the hearing and the negotiations.

But it is also important to note that we consider that the amount of the fine is disproportionate in view of the breaches noted by the ADLC. It does not take sufficient account of the efforts we have made to respond to the various comments – in an environment where it is very complicated to define a course of action when we cannot anticipate a precise direction.

Google also shared the enforced negotiation methodology, which it calls non-discriminatory and transparent.

Lately, tech giants have been cautious about their operations in the EU, especially after the Digital Markets Act (DMA) came into force. Microsoft allowed users to uninstall Edge, and Apple let them change the default browser on iOS.

Do you believe the €250 million fine imposed on Google is justified? Share with our readers in the comments section.

More about the topics: Gemini, Google