NEW YORK (AFP) – Google said Wednesday it will shut down Google News in Spain because of a new law that will force it to pay news outlets whose content it publishes, partially or in whole.
Google News will close in Spain on December 16 because of the law, which takes effect in January.
“Sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll shortly have to close Google News in Spain,” Google News director Richard Gingras wrote on a company blog. “This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not,” Gingras wrote.
“As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable,” he added.
The Spanish measure is part of an intellectual property rights law that was adopted by parliament in October.
Google News’ closure comes as no real surprise, as the company had made a threat to this effect as the bill made its way through the Spanish legislature. Google argued then, and repeated in its latest statement, that its news site drives readers to Spanish web sites and thus helps them generate advertising revenue.
Google is facing pressure from publishers in several European countries, who accuse the online search titan of taking advantage of its dominant position in the market and are demanding payment for use of their content.