Google hit with €500 million fine by France's antitrust watchdog

France's antitrust watchdog hit Google with a €500 million fine on Tuesday for failing to comply fully with temporary orders it had given in a row with the country's news publishers.

Google now has two months come up with proposals on how to compensate news agencies and other publishers for the use of their news, or face additional fines of up to €900,000 euros per day.

News publishers APIG, SEPM and AFP accuse the tech giant of having failed to open talks in good faith with them to find common ground for the remuneration of news content online, under a recent EU directive that creates so-called "neighbouring rights".

The case in itself focused on whether Google breached temporary orders issued by the antitrust authority, which demanded such talks take place within three months with any news publishers that ask for them.

APIG, which represents most major print news publishers (Le Figaro, Le Monde etc.), remains one of the plaintiffs, in spite of having signed a framework agreement, since it has been put on hold pending antitrust decision, sources have told Reuters.

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