Google is threatening to stop displaying search results from French media websites, following a proposal to charge Google for the privilege of linking to French media websites.
According to France 24, French media companies are lobbying France’s Socialist Party government to introduce legislation forcing Google and other search engines to share the revenue generated from user searches for news sites, particularly targeting services such as Google News.
The French Culture Minister, Aurelie Filippetti, is in favour of the idea, saying it is “a tool that it seems important to me to develop”.
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In response, Google says that the move threatens the company’s very existence and, if passed, the company would no longer be able to display search results from French media companies.
Google also points out that it redirects four billion clicks a month to French media websites, saying the proposed legislation “would be harmful to the Internet, Internet users and news websites that benefit from substantial traffic” from Google search results.
Google’s response has been slammed by the Socialist French Government.
“You don’t deal with a democratically-elected government with threats,” Filippetti says.