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France Fined Google 250 Million Euros

France fined the Alphabet Google 250 million euros ($271.73 million).

France regulators have fined US multinational technology giant Alphabet’s search engine Google millions of dollars. According to foreign media reports, the French competition watchdog has expressed concern over Google’s artificial intelligence service ‘Gemini’ for using the content of other news organizations and media organizations including Agence France Presse (AFP) without permission.

The watchdog said that Google’s AI-powered chatbot Bard, which has now been renamed Gemini, was trained on content from publishers and news organizations without their consent.

French Regulators

French regulators have fined Google 250 million euros ($272 million) over the concerns.

According to the watchdog, Google has agreed not to contest the facts as part of the settlement proceedings, and the corporation has also recommended a number of corrective steps for various inadequacies.

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Google expressed that it had accepted the agreement “as it is time to progress,” emphasizing, “Our aim is to prioritize the broader objective of establishing sustainable methods for linking individuals with high-quality content and collaborating positively with French publishers.”

The company argued that the fine was disproportionate and that the watchdog had not adequately considered 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.”

The fine stems from a copyright dispute in France over internet content, which originated from complaints by some of the country’s largest news agencies, including Agence France Presse (AFP).

The issue seemed resolved in 2022, when the US tech behemoth withdrew its appeal against an initial 500 million euro penalty imposed following a thorough investigation by the Autorite de la Concurrence.

The issue appeared to be resolved in 2022, when the US tech behemoth abandoned its appeal against an initial 500 million euro penalty imposed following a thorough investigation by the Autorite de la Concurrence.

However, in a statement issued on Wednesday, the watchdog said Google violated four of the settlement’s seven commitments, including conducting good faith conversations with publishers and providing transparent information.

Google’s AI Chatbot Bard

The watchdog specifically mentioned Google’s AI chatbot Bard, which was introduced in 2023 and was trained on data from unspecified media outlets and news agencies without the corporation telling them or the regulator.

“The agency stated that Google correlated the utilization of the content in question with its artificial intelligence service to the presentation of safeguarded content.”

Google made it more difficult for publishers and news agencies to negotiate appropriate fees.

The charge comes as many publishers, writers, and newsrooms seek to limit AI services’ scraping – or automated collection of data – of their online work without their consent and proper remuneration.

In 2023, the New York Times sued Google competitors Microsoft and OpenAI, the provider of the popular artificial-intelligence platform ChatGPT, alleging that they used millions of the newspaper’s stories without authorization to train chatbots.

“We – and others – need more clarity on who pays for what,” according to Google.

Also read this: Google Marks 25th Birthday with Special Doodle

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