Google threatens to exclude French media sites

According to recent reports by the BBC, CNN and other news outlets, Google is threatening to exclude French media sites from its search results if the French pass a proposed law that would allow publishers to charge search engines for content.

Currently, Google displays search results with a headline and a few lines of text, which French publishers claim is essentially uncompensated republishing of their content while Google earns advertising revenue off that content through contextual ads displayed on results pages.

Google France announced that such a law would be “harmful to the internet, internet users and news websites” that benefit from the four billion clicks a month redirected from its search results to French media pages.

Leaving no doubt about the Internet giant’s position, in late August, a Google spokesman reacted strongly to a similar law being drafted in Germany, saying it threatens freedom of information and “would mean massive damage to the German economy and would leave Germany behind internationally as a place for business.”

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