Google Slapped with $271M Fine in France Over AI Training with Publisher Data

The French authority is clearly not messing around when it comes to making sure Google deals fairly with the media sector. This latest fine comes on top of a previous $542 million penalty for similar shenanigans.
Google Slapped With $271m Fine In France Over Ai Training With Publisher Data
Google Slapped With 271m Fine In France Over Ai Training With Publisher Data

Google just can’t seem to catch a break in France. The tech giant has been hit with —yet another— fine by the country’s competition watchdog for failing to play nice with media outlets and using their content to train its AI without permission. Ouch!

So, what exactly did Google do wrong this time? Well, according to the regulator, the company didn’t keep its promise to negotiate deals with press publishers in good faith.

But that’s not all – Google also apparently used press content to train its “Bard” generative AI chatbot (now known as Gemini) without bothering to notify the authority or the publishers. Not cool, Google.

Google has yet to respond to this latest development, but we’re sure they’re not exactly thrilled about it.

The French antitrust authority has been on a mission to force Big Tech companies to negotiate deals with press publishers for republishing their content. This all stems from the European Union’s 2019 Copyright Directive, which aimed to protect press publishers’ so-called neighboring rights.

Interestingly, Google has had similar run-ins with antitrust authorities in other countries.

In Germany, the company managed to dodge an investigation into its News Showcase service by settling concerns raised by the antitrust authority. And back in 2014, Google actually pulled its News service from Spain after the country passed laws allowing Spanish publications to charge Google for publishing snippets of their work.

Google News eventually made its way back to Spain, but it’s clear that the company’s relationship with press publishers remains a contentious one.

As for what’s next in this ongoing saga between Google and the French competition watchdog? We’ll have to wait and see.

But one thing’s for sure – Google’s AI ambitions just got a bit more expensive.

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