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Google spends Euro 60 mn to settle French dispute

New Delhi, Sat, 02 Feb 2013 NI Wire

Publishers of French newspaper and magazine and Google have finally reached to a settlement on a month-long dispute over whether the search engine should pay to display news content in its search results.

French President Francois Hollande and Google chief Eric Schmidt signed the accord today.

Elysee, the presidency office said in a statement, "After intense negotiations, agreement was reached today".

"The president of the Republic ...expressed the hope that a negotiated solution between newspaper publishers and Google will be found," the statement added.

Google will create a 60-million-euro ($80-million) fund to "ease the transition from the press to the digital world", according to the statement.

In addition to the creating the Digital Publishing Innovation Fund, Google has agreed to give French media access to its advertising platforms at a reduced cost.

The compromise allows it to avoid paying an ongoing licensing fee, the report said.

What was the controversy?

On September 2012, main French newspaper publishers called on the government to impose a law to force search engines to pay commissions to French media websites.

Local news sites demanded payment for displaying link to their stories on the Web.

In protest, Google threatened to stop linking to French media websites, angering the socialist government.

The French government then threatened to tax the revenue Google made from posting ads alongside the results.

Google first opposed it by saying that it will stop indexing French papers' articles. But now has agreed for a settlement.

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