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Google fined EUR 250 mln by French competition authority

Christian Fernsby |
French Competition Authority, The Autorite de la concurrence, said it has fined Alphabet and Google 250 million euros for non compliance with some of its commitments with news publishers.

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The fine is related to breaches linked to EU intellectual property rules. It was reported that Google failed to keep its commitments to negotiate deals with media publishers in good faith, and it also trained generative AI chatbot Bard on press content without notifying the publishers or the authority.

In a statement, the agency said Alphabet and its affiliates Google, Google Ireland Ltd and Google France failed to comply with some of its commitments made earlier.

This is the fourth decision issued by the authority in this case in four years, the authority noted.

The French Competition Authority had ordered interim measures in the form of injunctions in April 2020.

Later in July 2021, the Autorite found that Google had not complied with these injunctions and imposed a fine of 500 million euros, as well as ordered Google to comply, under penalty payment, with the initial injunctions.

In June 2022, the Autorite accepted, for a period of five years, renewable once, the commitments proposed by Google to put an end to the competition concerns expressed.

In this latest decision, the agency has fined Google for breaching its commitment to cooperate with the monitoring trustee and failing to comply with four of its seven commitments.

With regard to Google's AI-powered chatbot Bard, which was launched in July 2023, the authority found that it had used content from press agencies and publishers to train its foundation model, without any notification to either them or the agency. Bard has since been rebranded under the name Gemini.


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