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France Fines Google Amid Dispute with News Publishers

French regulators said legal questions about the fair use of news content to train A.I. applications had “not yet been settled.” Still, the authorities said, Google violated a past deal with the government by “failing to inform publishers of the use of their content for their Bard software,” using the former name of Google’s A.I. chatbot.

French authorities have sided with local publishers who argue that Google and other large technology companies have unfairly profited from their content without fair payment. In 2022, regulators fined Google €500 million and ordered it to negotiate licensing deals with French publishers.

Regulators said Google did not negotiate in good faith with publishers because it failed to share necessary information with a monitor assigned to the deal talks. Authorities said Google used “opaque” data when determining what to pay publishers and did not fully account for all the different ways the company was making money from content produced by media outlets.

Google said the fine was “not proportionate to issues raised” by the regulator, but agreed to the penalty announced on Wednesday.

“We have compromised because it is time to turn the page and, as our numerous agreements with publishers prove, we want to focus on sustainable approaches in order to connect internet users with quality content and work constructively with publishers,” the company said in a statement.


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