French Competition Watchdog Hits Google with 250 Mln Euro Fine 

The Google logo is seen on the Google house at CES 2024, an annual consumer electronics trade show, in Las Vegas, Nevada, US January 10, 2024. (Reuters)
The Google logo is seen on the Google house at CES 2024, an annual consumer electronics trade show, in Las Vegas, Nevada, US January 10, 2024. (Reuters)
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French Competition Watchdog Hits Google with 250 Mln Euro Fine 

The Google logo is seen on the Google house at CES 2024, an annual consumer electronics trade show, in Las Vegas, Nevada, US January 10, 2024. (Reuters)
The Google logo is seen on the Google house at CES 2024, an annual consumer electronics trade show, in Las Vegas, Nevada, US January 10, 2024. (Reuters)

France's competition watchdog on Wednesday said it fined Google 250 million euros ($271.73 million) for breaches linked to EU intellectual property rules in its relationship with media publishers.

Google has pledged not to contest the facts as part of settlement proceedings, the watchdog said, adding the company also proposed a series of remedy measures to certain shortcomings.

The fine is linked to a copyright dispute in France over online content in a case triggered by complaints from some of France's biggest news organizations, including Agence France Presse (AFP).

The dispute seemed resolved in 2022 when the US tech giant dropped its appeal against an initial 500 million euro fine issued at the end of a major investigation carried out by the Autorite de la Concurrence.

In Wednesday's statement, the watchdog said Google violated the terms of four out of seven commitments agreed in the settlement agreement, including conducting negotiations with publishers in good faith and providing transparent information.

Google could not immediately be reached for comment.



Italy's Antitrust Takes Aim at Google over Personal Data Usage

FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
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Italy's Antitrust Takes Aim at Google over Personal Data Usage

FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa
FILED - 09 January 2024, US, Las Vegas: The Google logo can be seen on the Internet company's pavilion at the CES technology trade fair. Photo: Andrej Sokolow/dpa

Italy's antitrust agency said on Thursday it had launched an investigation into online search giant Google and its parent company Alphabet over alleged unfair commercial practices involving users' personal data.
The request for consent that Google sends to its users to connect its multiple services "could constitute misleading and aggressive commercial practice", the watchdog said.
This "incomplete and misleading," information supplied to users fails to clarify the impact their consent may have on the use their personal data, the antitrust authority, which is in charge of overseeing consumer rights, added.
Google offers a wide range of online tools, including video platform YouTube, email service Gmail, and Maps.
The antitrust body said Google presented its request for users' consent in a way that could limit their freedom of choice, by inducing them to agree to a combined usage of personal data by different Google services.
"We will analyze the details of this case and will work cooperatively with the authority," a Google spokesperson said in a statement.
Under Italian legislation companies found in breach of consumer rights rules face fines ranging from 5,000 euros to 10 million euros.