Google has agreed to pay German publishers €3.2mn per year for publishing their content on its News search engine.
The compensation is part of an interim agreement between the tech giant and Corint Media, pending a decision by the German Patent and Trademark Office (DPMA), which will determine the final (and potentially higher) amount.
Corint Media is a European corporation that represents the rights of over 500 German and international media companies, including Axel Springer, Al Jazzeera, France 24, and CNBC Europe. The corporation has long been disputing Google’s “unlawful” use of press content without paying any compensation.
Having initially sought a €420mn payment for the news content used in 2022, Corint Media said it now hopes that the DPMA’s decision will lead to a “significantly” higher amount than the preliminary agreement of €3.2mn.
Meanwhile, Google has previously accepted a one-off €5.8mn payment to cover the period between June 2021 (when the EU’s press ancillary copyright law came into force) and March 2023.
“The payments to Corint Media are in line with what we have already agreed with 470 regional and national publications in Germany,” Google said in a statement. Its existing licensing deals include German outlets Zeit and Spiegel.
“Where the quasi-monopoly Google otherwise dictates prices, the route through ordinary courts is the only way to get appropriate compensation for the use of content,” said Dr Christine Jury-Fischer, managing director of Corint Media.
She added that the agreement proves that “even a part of the press market can succeed in defending itself against Google’s dominant business practices if only there is a high level of unity. If successful, these efforts should — and will — also benefit other publishers.”