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Google News may shut over EU plans to charge tax for links

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The Guardian
November 19, 2018

Google’s top news executive has refused to rule out shutting down Google News in EU countries, as the search engine faces a battle with Brussels over plans to charge a “link tax” for using news stories.

Richard Gingras, the search engine’s vice-president of news, said while “it’s not desirable to shut down services” the company was deeply concerned about the current proposals, which are designed to compensate struggling news publishers if snippets of their articles appear in search results.

He told the Guardian that the future of Google News could depend on whether the EU was willing to alter the phrasing of the legislation. “We can’t make a decision until we see the final language,” he said.

He pointed out the last time a government attempted to charge Google for links, in 2014 in Spain, the company responded by shutting down Google News in the country. Spain passed a law requiring aggregation sites to pay for news links, in a bid to prop up struggling print news outlets. Google responded by closing the service for Spanish consumers, which he said prompted a fall in traffic to Spanish news websites.

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This article was posted: Monday, November 19, 2018 at 9:12 am





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