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Google Faces A Fine Of 250 Million Euros From The French Competition Authority

Google Faces A Fine Of 250 Million Euros From The French Competition Authority
Citing worries about the tech giant Google’s AI service, France's competition authority announced on Wednesday that it has fined Alphabet's Google 250 million euros ($271.73 million) for violations of EU intellectual property laws in its dealings with media publishers.
The watchdog claimed that without informing publishers or news organisations, Google's AI-powered chatbot Bard—which has since changed its name to Gemini—was trained on their content.
The watchdog stated that Google has promised not to dispute the facts in the settlement process and that it has also put out a number of corrective actions to address certain issues.
Google stated that it had accepted the agreement "because it is time to move on" , stating "we want to focus on the larger goal of sustainable approaches to connecting people with quality content and on working constructively with French publishers."
The corporation claimed that the watchdog had not given enough consideration to its efforts "in an environment where it's very hard to set a course because we can't predict which way the wind will blow next" and that the fine was unreasonable.
A copyright dispute over internet content in France, which was brought about by complaints from some of the largest news organisations in the nation, including Agence France Presse (AFP), is connected to the penalties.
After a thorough study by the Autorite de la Concurrence, the American tech giant dropped its appeal against a 500 million euro punishment, thus resolving the matter in 2022.
However, the watchdog claimed in its statement on Wednesday that Google had broken four of the seven terms of the settlement, including the agreements to conduct conversations with publishers in good faith and to provide transparent information.
The watchdog specifically mentioned Google's AI chatbot Bard, which debuted in 2023 and was allegedly educated on data from unidentified news agencies and media sources without the company's or the regulator's knowledge.
The watchdog claimed that Google "then linked the use of the content concerned by its artificial intelligence service to the display of protected content," making it more difficult for news agencies and publishers to bargain for reasonable rates.
The fine is a result of numerous publishers, authors, and newsrooms trying to restrict the automatic data collection of their web content by AI services, known as "scraping," without getting adequate remuneration in exchange.
In 2023, the New York Times filed a lawsuit against Microsoft, a competitor of Google, and OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT, the well-known artificial intelligence platform, alleging that they had improperly used millions of the newspaper's articles to train chatbots.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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