Google To Pay €60 Million To Settle Dispute Over Digital Publishing In France

4 February 2013, 11:46 am EST By Alexandra Burlacu email: Mobile & Apps

Google has agreed to pay € 60 million ($82 million) to settle a dispute with French newspaper and magazine publishers over digital publishing.

To settle the issue, Google announced two new strategies aimed at helping French publishers. The first initiative consists of a € 60 million Digital Publishing Innovation Fund for, of course, digital publishing. The second scheme, meanwhile, aims to boost French publishers' online revenues.

Google Chairman Eric Schmidt and French president Francois Hollande signed the agreement on Friday, Feb. 1. Under the terms of the deal, Google will contribute financially to help the French media develop its Internet presence. France has been pushing towards this endeavor for a long time, seeking to get the search giant to pay licensing fees for the headlines and summaries it used in its search results.

"This exciting announcement builds on the commitments we made in 2011 to increase our investment in France, including our Cultural Institute in Paris to help preserve amazing cultural treasures such as the Dead Sea Scrolls," Google's Eric Schmidt said in a blog post announcing the new initiatives.

Google will not only help finance French publishers in expanding their Web presence, but it will also help them increase revenue using its advertising technology.

"These agreements show that through business and technology partnerships we can help stimulate digital innovation for the benefit of consumers, our partners, and the wider Web," Schmidt further explained.

Schmidt's blog post made no direct mention to the settlement, but the new initiatives indicate that Google has finally resolved its issues with French publishers, who had accused the search giant of copyright infringement for linking to news articles.

While Google agreed to finance the aforementioned dedicated fund, newspapers will in return drop their demands that Google pay them for each and every click on Web versions of their stories. Should it have come to this, Google said it would have simply removed all French newspapers from its index rather than paying such royalties.

France's President Francois Hollande announced the deal Friday evening at a surprise news conference alongside Google's Eric Schmidt, who went to Paris for final negotiations. 

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