French regulators said Wednesday they were fining Google €250 million for breaching an agreement on terms for paying media companies for reproducing their content online.

France's Competition Authority said in a statement the fine was for "failing to respect commitments made in 2022" and accused it of not negotiating in "good faith" with news publishers on how much to compensate them for use of their content.

Google and other online platforms have been accused of making billions from news without sharing the revenue with those who gather it.

To tackle this, the EU created a form of copyright called "neighbouring rights" that allows print media to demand compensation for using their content. 

France has been a test case for the rules and after initial resistance Google and Facebook both agreed to pay some French media for articles shown in web searches.

In 2022, French regulators accepted commitments from Google to negotiate fairly with news organisations.

Under the agreement, the US tech giant has to provide news groups with a transparent offer of payment within three months of receiving a copyright complaint.  

Organisations representing French magazines and newspapers - as well as Agence France-Presse (AFP) - had lodged a case with the regulator in 2019.

Google had fought hard against the idea of paying for content and was fined €500 million in 2021 for failing to negotiate in good faith.

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