Google and Agence France-Presse (AFP) announced jointly on Wednesday 17 November 2021 the signature of an exclusive European agreement on the remuneration of AFP content used by Google's services.
This is the first partnership concluded by a news agency under the new neighbouring rights law introduced by European Directive 2019/790 of 17 April 2019, transposed in France by a law of 24 July 2019, at the heart of multiple disputes between the web giants and the media.
The agreement, which is European in scope and concluded for an initial period of five years, covers the remuneration to be paid by Google for the display of AFP content on its services - including the Google search engine - in all EU states, including by anticipation in countries that have not yet transposed the 17 April 2019 directive.
The agreement comes after two years of intense negotiations and contentious opposition between Google and AFP.
In particular, the French Competition Authority had to issue two successive decisions, in April 2020 and July 2021.
On 12 July 2021, Google was fined EUR 500 million for failing to comply with the Authority's obligation to negotiate in good faith with publishers and news agencies the remuneration due under the neighbouring rights law.
The AFP was advised by Gide, with partners Antoine Choffel and Julien Guinot-Deléry.
Google was advised by Allen & Overy, with Florence Ninane.