Google France standoff: Firm promises €60m fund for French media

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The standoff between Google and France over links to French newspapers has finally drawn to a close.

French President, Francois Hollande, and Google's Eric Schmidt announced that the firm had agreed to create a €60 million (£52m) "Digital Publishing Innovation Fund": specifically designed to help the media in France adapt to online reporting.

Hollande had previously vowed to stand by threats to charge Google for any links it has to newspaper sites.

However following months of negotiations, the two have negotiated a deal which means Google will not have to pay for links to French newspaper sites, but instead will help develop the French sides online presence. Google has also promised to boost their revenue through its advertising technology.

Throughout the standoff Google had constantly pointed out that it sends over four billion clicks to French media sites each month through its search listings: essentially free traffic which requires no SEO efforts on the part of the media. Although through this deal the firm will obviously push this even more.

Talking of the deal Google chairman, Eric Schmidt, wrote on the company blog: "These agreements show that through business and technology partnerships we can help stimulate digital innovation for the benefit of consumers, our partners and the wider web."

A similar deal was agreed with the Belgian publishers in December, but German publishers are standing firm.

In fact, the German coalition government already approved a draft legislation back in August 2012 aimed at forcing search engines such as Google to pay commissions to German media sites. The proposed law went in front of a legal hearing committee at the end of January - the first part of a three stage reading process required in order for a law to be passed in the country.

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