Brussels, 23 February 2022
Last month, News Media Europe contributed to the French competition regulator’s (Autorité de la Concurrence) market test on the commitments proposed by Google to French press publishers for content remuneration [download paper in FR and EN].
News Media Europe aims to bring a European perspective to this debate. Our submission provides an overview of the status of negotiations across Europe and concrete recommendations on how to improve Google’s proposed commitments.
In fact, the proposed commitments seem insufficient to address competition concerns. Our recommendations will hopefully contribute to enabling genuine openness and transparency for negotiations in France and other European markets.
The expertise provided by the French regulator will resonate at European level and in the Member States. We believe that the experience of the French regulator deserves a common reflection within the European Competition Network. While respecting the legal traditions of each Member States and the inherent differences between cultural markets, we believe that the implementation of the neighbouring right is an opportunity to raise this issue beyond national borders.
As the Copyright Directive transposition is rolled out across Europe, the pace of negotiations between press publishers and platforms will accelerate.
To conclude, European publishers applaud the French consultation procedure and would encourage European governments to take inspiration from this process which takes the view of all the interested parties in account instead of letting Google dictate the terms of the remuneration agreements.
Wout van Wijk, Executive Director