Google to give EUR60 million to French Digital Publishing Fund

Google to give EUR60 million to French Digital Publishing FundAnnouncing a new initiative aimed at assisting French publishers, Internet search giant Google revealed on Friday that an amount of EUR60 million ($82 million) will be spent by the company on a Digital Publishing Innovation Fund for digital publishing.

Google's commitment to spend EUR60 million will essentially mark the settlement of the company's scuffle with newspaper and magazine publishers in France. The dispute chiefly pertains to the argument about whether Google should make any payments to the publishers for linking to their stories on the Web.

About its Friday-announced initiative, Google said that the French Digital Publishing Fund will be fully financed by the company; and will largely facilitate the French news media in navigating the transition to the Internet, particularly since print advertising is rapidly moving online.

With the fund to help French media develop their Web presence, the deal - signed by Google chairman Eric Schmidt and French president Francois Hollande - will probably see Google paying licensing fees for the news headlines and reviews that it uses in its search results.

Terming the announcement of the new initiative to help French publishers as an "exciting" development, Schmidt said in a recent blog post that the announcement "builds on the commitments we (Google) made in 2011 to increase our investment in France, including our Cultural Institute in Paris to help preserve amazing cultural treasures such as the Dead Sea Scrolls."

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