Google will not pay press publishers in France to display their content and will instead change the way articles appear in search results, a senior executive said on Wednesday.
The announcement pours cold water on publishers hopes of obtaining more money from the tech giant for displaying their content under the European Unions new copyright regime, which France was the first to transpose into national law.
“We dont accept payment from anyone to be included in search results. We sell ads, not search results, and every ad on Google is clearly marked. Thats also why we dont pay publishers when people click on their links in a search result,” Richard Gingras, vice president for news at Google, said in a blogpost.
France is so far the only country to have transposed the European Unions copyright reforms new right for press publishers into a national law, which comes into force in October. The EU copyright directives Article 15, formerly known as Article 11, allows the press to request money from platforms such as Google and Facebook when they display their content online.
It was the result of years of lobbying by Europes biggest publishing houses in Brussels, which had pushed for this new so-called neighboring right to help them gain bargaining power against tech giants and shift advertising revenue from Google and Facebook back to news organizations. (Axel Springer, POLITICO Europes co-owner, is an active participant in the debate.)
According to estimates by some press publishers in France, the loss of revenues for their sector due to Google and Facebooks power in the online advertising market ranges between €250 million and €320 million euros per year.
Publishers were hoping the neighboring right would “compensate” for that loss — but Googles announcement suggests the hopes were unfounded.
To apply the new copyright rules in France, Google will instead change the way news results appear on its search engine by removing so-called snippets, or short excerpts from the article.
“When the French law comes into force, we will not show preview content in France for a European news publication unless the publisher has taken steps to tell us thats what they want,” the tech giant said