A “hyperlink tax” will be voted in the Eurpean union,if passed the US giant does not rule out closing one of its iconic services in Europe.
This is a new threat to press publishers and European Internet users. In an interview with the British media The Guardian, a Google executive says the closure of Google News is a hypothesis. In question, a draft European directive on copyright, which would require platforms to pay publishers when they reference their content and allow access via a hyperlink. This legislative change would primarily concern Google News, the Google service that aggregates millions of news articles.
Similar situation happened in Spain before
On the portal of the American site, available in dozens of countries, titles, photos and links of news articles are referenced and selected by domain. According to Article 11 of the future European directive, Google will pay a commission to all referenced media. An unacceptable proposal for Richard Gingras, in charge of news at Google, which tells the Guardian that Google News does not display any advertising and therefore does not generate profit.
The man recalls by the way that Google has already taken action in the past. In 2014, a law of the same clauses had pushed the company to close its news service in Spain, in order not to pay the different media. This threat can deprive around 500 million Europeans of Google News service.
Relating to the media, closing Google News could lead to a drop in online audiences. But Google would also leave a vacant place on one of its most important markets. Tension could rise further in the coming weeks as negotiations on the final Copyright Directive take place in Brussels.