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EPC Welcomes the French Competition Authority’s decision: Google to pay the French Press Publishes

The battle win goes to the French press publishers – but the war is not over yet. The politically charged debate is now closer to a conclusion as on Thursday 9 April, the French Competition Authority, Autorité de la Concurrence, ordered Google to provide a remuneration proposal to the French publishers in accordance the Copyright law and especially the press publishers neighbouring right. The French Competition Authority’s decision means that Google will be obligated to pay the press publishers their rightful share when their content is displayed online. The negotiations between the parties are expected to lead to an agreement within three months when Google is to present a remuneration scheme for the press publishers.

After a roller-coaster of a battle between publishers and the search engine, EPC Executive Director, Angela Mills Wade welcomed the decision and said: “The matter is not only about compliance with the law. It is now time for Google to do the right thing and to start remunerating the press publishers for the benefit they gain through invaluable data and advertising revenues from the rich and diverse press content”.

Angela Mills-Wade stressed the importance of the decision that “The injunction requires that the negotiations actually result in a remuneration proposal from Google, in line with the European Directive which introduced the neighbouring right for press publishers”.

It is a very important step indeed, as stated by Competition lawyer Damien Geradin, from Geradin Partners, “very important decision … but these are interim measures so [the] battle is not over”, however, more is still to be done.

A European Commission spokesperson weighed in on the ruling: “The objective of the EU is that the editors are better paid when they negotiate the use of their articles which largely benefit the platforms through the advertising revenues.”

The official statement from the French Competition Authority can be found here.



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