The French Competition Authority has fined internet search engine Google 250 million euros for failing to fulfill its commitments regarding payments to French publishers for their news. 

The Authority reported that it sentenced the US-based technology giant to a fine under the EU 'Neighboring Rights Act' of 2019 regarding the pricing of content used on the platform.

In the statement made by the French Competition Authority (Autorité de la concurrence), it was noted that Google was fined in June 2022 for not fulfilling its commitments "aimed at creating the necessary conditions for balanced negotiations between publishers, agencies and digital platforms". 

Google, which has been fighting lawsuits for 'anti-competitive behavior' in many countries around the world, agreed to pay the fine in France.

EU had defined 'neighbor rights' in 2019

Article 15 of the EU's 2019 law introduces "neighboring rights", which entitle broadcasters to receive fair remuneration from platforms for the re-use of their content.

The practice of "neighboring rights" came into force in 2019 as Article 15 of the EU Copyright Act under the copyright directive. 

It is part of efforts by authorities in the European Union and around the world to force Google and other tech companies to pay news publishers for content.

Following the regulation, Google was forced to negotiate with French publishers. 

Paris was the first EU capital to adopt the copyright directive, which sets out how publishers and news organizations can enter into licensing agreements with online platforms.

In April 2020, the French antitrust agency gave Google a provisional order to negotiate with news publishers within three months.

A year later, the antitrust agency fined Google 500 million euros for failing to negotiate a fair payment for publishers' news.

"We have reached an agreement because it is time to move on," the company said in its response to the fine.

However, it also criticized that the fine was "not proportionate" to the issue at hand and "did not adequately take into account" Google's efforts to address its reservations.

Google has so far reached fee agreements with 450 French publishers.