Good news for press publishers and for the European media industry

On 9 April 2020, the French Competition Authority released its preliminary ruling in favour of press publishers asking for urgent interim measures against Google. Following the French implementation of the neighbouring right, Google unilaterally decided to remove press contents from its platforms unless publishers granted licenses for free.

The Competition Authority ordered urgent interim measures on the ground that Google’s behaviour caused serious and immediate harm to the press sector. In addition, Google’s new terms and conditions are likely to constitute an abuse of dominant.

The interim measures oblige Google to enter in good faith negotiations with press publishers and news agencies to discuss both the terms of content reuse and the associated remuneration. During the three-month negotiations, Google must provide monthly reports to the Authority on how it complies with the decision.

Wout van Wijk, Executive Director of News Media Europe, reacted: The decision is very good news for French press publishers, and for the European news media industry. Not only does it recognise the true value of press content, it rebalances the relations between content producers and online platforms. We urgently need the implementation of the publishers right throughout Europe”.

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