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French to tax Google News

by on31 October 2012

Non to republishing headlines

The French are considering taxing Google for republishing headlines. French President François Hollande said that he might bring in a law to make Google pay to republish news snippets if it doesn't strike a deal with French news publishers before the end of the year.

French newspapers want a slice of Google's cash from advertising displayed alongside their news snippets in search results. The publishers are dumb enough to want to charge Google to compensate them for ad revenue losses. They think that readers are often satisfied by reading the headline and summary published by Google News, and don't feel the need to click through to the news site.

If Google has any common sense it will refuse to publish French newspaper content until the publishers realise that this is where they get most of their hits from.

Most news sites would love to get a high priority in Google in an attempt to attract more readers to their websites. Apparently the French have not worked this out yet, and they have found a friendly ear from the President. Hollande does not like Google much because it is failing to pay enough French taxes relative to the value it gets from French content.

He told Schmidt he wanted Google to reach an agreement with publishers by the end of the year. If they could not agree, a law like that proposed in Germany could be introduced, Hollande said, according to the statement.

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