Millennium Post

Google in war of words with French sites on revenue

Google has threatened to exclude French media sites from its search results if France implements a proposed law forcing search engines to pay for content, according to a letter.

The letter sent by Google to several ministerial offices this month said it 'cannot accept' such a move and the company 'as a consequence would be required to no longer reference French sites.'

The letter obtained by AFP said such a law, which would require Google to make payments to media sites for displaying links to their content, would 'threaten [Google's] very existence'.

It also noted that Google 'redirects four billion clicks per month towards the Internet pages' of French media.

Leading French newspaper publishers last month called on the government to adopt a law to force Internet search engines such as Google to pay for content.

They said a law should impose a settlement in the long-running dispute with Google, which receives high volumes of advertising revenue from user searches for news contained on media websites. The EU agencies told Google it had a few months to fix the policy or face legal action.
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