PARIS (Reuters) – Google has submitted proposals to the French antitrust watchdog about how it would deal with news agencies and publishers in a dispute about paying for news content, Google and the watchdog said on Wednesday.
France’s Competition Authority said in a statement it would put these proposals to a public consultation and the parties involved must respond by Jan. 31, 2022.
News organizations, which have been losing ad revenue to online aggregators such as Google and Facebook, have complained for years about tech companies using stories in search results or other features without copyright payment.
As part of its proposals, Google commits to negotiate “in good faith” with news agencies and publishers the amount it would pay for using their protected content.
It also commits to making a payment offer within three months from the start of the negotiation.
If a deal cannot be reached, it would be possible to go to an arbitration court that would decide on the amount to pay.
Google said on its Google France blog its proposals highlighted its willingness to open a new chapter in the copyright dispute.
In November, Google began paying Agence France-Presse for its news content in a deal that follows France enacting a copyright law that creates “neighboring rights,” requiring big tech companies to open talks with news publishers that want a licensing payment.
(Reporting by Dominique Vidalon; Editing by Benoit Van Overstraeten, Elaine Hardcastle)