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Google hands over €60 million to French media

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Google hands over €60 million to French media
France on June 20th threatened to fine Google €150,000 if the company didn't align its privacy policies with French law in three months. Photo: Carlos Luna
08:51 CEST+02:00
Internet giant Google signed over €60 million to the French media this week aimed at helping sites develop their presence on the Internet. The move follows a spat between the Google and French publishers, which threatened to spill over into a diplomatic row.

A €60 million ($81 million) fund set up by Google to help French media develop their presence on the Internet was launched Thursday following a deal to settle a row over royalty payments.

The US search engine signed an agreement with the French government in February to settle a spat with French publishers who had wanted Google to pay them for linking to their content.

The fund will be set up for three years with €20 million available annually.

The fund will be managed by Google and a body grouping news outlets called the Association of Political and General Information (AIPG).

Online political and general sites can apply for funding for "innovative" projects, Google and AIPG said.

The projects will be funded for a maximum of 60 percent of the total cost, with a two-million-euro ceiling for each proposal.

Applications can be made online at www.finp.fr.

Google had in a letter to the French government, made public by AFP in mid-October, threatened to stop including French media in its Internet search results if it had to pay royalties.

The body overseeing the fund will be headed by Ludovic Blecher, who was in charge of digital strategy for the French newspaper Liberation.

During the row with Google, President Francois Hollande had threatened to draft new legislation to force the company to pay for content used from French media. But that threat was dropped when Google came up with the fund offer in February.

Google has been involved in similar spats in Belgium and Germany.

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