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Summary:

Google has come to an agreement with the French publishers who wanted it to pay them for linking to their news content. Google agreed to create a €60 million “Digital Publishing Innovation Fund” and will also help the publishers with ad strategy.

French book
photo: alp33

Google has come to an agreement with French publishers who wanted the search giant to start paying them for linking to their content.

In a blog post Friday, Google CEO Eric Schmidt announced two new initiatives to appease France: “First, Google has agreed to create a €60 million [USD $82 million] Digital Publishing Innovation Fund to help support transformative digital publishing initiatives for French readers. Second, Google will deepen our partnership with French publishers to help increase their online revenues using our advertising technology.” Google won’t pay for links, however.

As paidContent’s Jeff John Roberts reported recently, French publishers had wanted more money, between €70 and €100 million euros. And a tweet from Frédéric Filloux suggests that more details still have to be worked out. The agreement is similar to one that Google reached with Belgian publishers in December; in that deal, Google agreed to buy around $6 million worth of advertising.

Thumbnail image courtesy of Shutterstock user alp33.

  1. Back to the future — Eric Schmidt is CEO of Google. Not Really!! That’s still Larry Page, but this is Eric’s problem of old. USD $82 mm / E60 mm — for the French and another USD $6 mm to the Belgians. What is going on! How far does this Domino fall? Does every Country in the world get to start filing complaints against every search engine company — is this same suit filed against Bing and retroactively against Yahoo!!

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  2. The two largest Italian newspapers alone get about 43 million € combined (Corriere della Sera: ~24M€; la Repubblica: ~19M€; quoting from memory) worth of public subsidies each year. Yet they don’t do much digital innovation and have no significant growth. Compare this to the 60 M€ fund by Google., which is probably once only.

    For the record, even if newspapers in my country, Italy, did great digital innovation and thrived, I wouldn’t be interested in their conent anyway. They can no longer be trusted as independent, reliable, and unbiased sources of news.

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  3. This is an insane deal where everyone loses. Google, like many multi-nationals pays almost no tax on French revenue, funneling the money through offshore accounts. The French government used this to put pressure on Google to strike a deal to help ailing newspapers, despite the fact that the two things have absolutely no connection.

    As a result, the French government are hailing as a success a system which forces a company which is helping a dying industry to pay a fine for doing so. For any tech company to subsidize newspapers is like having HP fund the slide-rule industry, but to have a news search engine do so for driving traffic is deluded.

    This has reduced the leverage the French government had to get Google to pay tax on revenues in the manner it does in the US. Which is a much bigger deal.

    (disclaimer – I co-founded the first news search company, which was the forerunner to Google News)

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  4. I think that this is a bit silly, but it is buisness.

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