Google Fined €250 Million for “Feeding” AI News Content Without Paying Up


  • French regulators fined Google for using news content in its AI tool without permission from publishers.
  • The incident reignites a debate over how news outlets are compensated in the age of large language models.
  • The outcome of this case could set a precedent for how LLMs interact with copyrighted content.

The French competition authority, Autorité de la Concurrence, has fined Google €250 million (US$271 million) for failing to reach agreements with news outlets regarding the use of their content in search results. 

The fine comes amidst ongoing tensions between news organisations and large language model (LLM) creators regarding fair compensation and transparency.

France Fines Google in Ongoing AI Content Payment Battle

Autorité de la Concurrence claims Google used press content to train its large language model (LLM), Gemini, without notifying publishers or seeking their permission.

This penalty marks the second time in four years that Google has faced sanctions from the Autorité de la Concurrence over similar concerns. In 2020, the authority fined Google €500 million for alleged anti-competitive practices.

Google, in a blog post response, contested the fine, arguing it was disproportionate and did not reflect their efforts to address the concerns raised. 

Google’s News Troubles Continue in Europe

The incident highlights a growing trend of friction between news outlets and large language model (LLM) creators. Similar disputes have arisen between OpenAI and publications like The New York Times and TIME Magazine. 

Also, Microsoft’s partnership with French AI company Mistral had raised concerns among some EU lawmakers, who questioned potential favouritism towards French firms. The French government has denied such allegations.

Previously, Google faced a similar investigation in Germany concerning its News Showcase service, which was eventually settled. In 2014, Google even withdrew its News service from Spain in response to a law granting Spanish publications the right to charge for snippets of their work.

The outcome of this latest dispute remains to be seen. However, it serves as a clear indication that the conversation surrounding fair compensation and transparency in the LLM industry is only just beginning.

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Ibiam Wayas

Ibiam is an optimistic crypto journalist. Five years from now, he sees himself establishing a unique crypto media outlet that will breach the gap between the crypto world and the general public. He loves to associate with like-minded individuals and collaborate with them on similar projects. He spends much of his time honing his writing and critical thinking skills.

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