Google seeks clarification on French news rights ruling

PARIS (AFP) – Google said on Friday that it has sought clarification of the ruling that it negotiate with French news publishers to reach a deal on paying them to display their news content.

“We have decided to appeal because we need some legal clarity on parts of the order,” a spokeswoman for the United States (US) tech giant said.

“Of course, the priority for us is to continue engaging with French publishers on a path forward,” she added.

France’s competition regulator issued a preliminary ruling in April that Google must start paying media groups for displaying their content, ordering it to begin negotiations.

The appeal does not challenge the ruling, but seeks guidance on its implementation.

Talks under way aim to reach a deal by September, with the interim arrangements set to last until the regulator eventually makes a final ruling.

The competition regulator confirmed it had received the appeal from Google, without providing any details.

European news outlets, including AFP, had complained Google’s practices short-circuited the EU’s new copyright law.

The US tech titan said it would only offer headlines and links to articles unless publishers allowed them to use text snippets, photos and videos for free.

The use of just headlines would almost certainly result in a loss of visibility and ad revenue for publishers.

A Google office. PHOTO: AP