Google is reportedly considering ending its news service in Europe in response to The European Union’s Copyright Directive which is currently being discussed by regulators. If the law is enacted, web platforms, including Google and Facebook, would be required to compensate publishers for using excerpts of articles in news search results. Under the directive, platforms are also expected to prevent copyrighted content such as music and videos from appearing on their platforms without a license from the right’s holder.
Google’s public policy manager for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Jennifer Bernal, said that they are considering many options and a decision to withdraw the service would only come after a close reading of the directive and it would be a decision they would make reluctantly.
Google may pull its Google News service from Europe, according to a report from Bloomberg.
Whether Google decides to do that is dependent on the details of a copyright law which is in the process of being finalized.
European regulators are working to pass a copyright law that would give publishers the right to demand payment when their articles show up on other web platforms.
That law would affect Google as well as other places where news articles are shared on the web, such as Facebook.
Google’s public policy manager for Europe tells Bloomberg that Google News might quit the continent as a direct response to the law being passed.
Details of the copyright law were supposed to be finalized this week, however, disagreement among member states led to delay.
Google doesn’t earn revenue directly from its news service, so in that sense, it wouldn’t hurt the company financially to pull Google News out of Europe.
On the other hand, news is what keeps people coming back to Google, where money is earned through advertisements in search results.
It sounds like removing Google News from Europe would affect publishers as well, but Bloomberg says the impact on publishers’ traffic is “unclear” at this time.
As lawmakers finalize the details of the proposed copyright law, an agreement is said to be possible in the next few months.
Google will carefully examine the details of the agreement before deciding to withdraw its Google News service from Europe.