Google News to close down in Spain

The internet search provider announced the move ahead of a new Spanish intellectual property law

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Google News will no longer operate in Spain - ahead of a new law requiring the internet search company to pay Spanish news organisations for linked content or snippets of news.

The move marks the first time globally that Google will shut down its news service and comes in response a new Spanish intellectual property law going into effect on 1 January, dubbed the Google Tax.

Google said in a statement that the company's news product for Spain will stop linking content from Spanish publishers and close on 16 December.

The law did not specify how much publishers would have to be paid by Google. Spain's AEDE group of news publishers lobbied for the law and Google said publishers would be forced to charge the company “for showing even the smallest snippets of their content - whether they want to charge or not”.

“As Google News shows no ads and makes no revenue, this approach is simply unsustainable,” Google said.

Google News has long rankled newspaper publishers and other content providers who contend the service tramples on copyrights by creating a digital kiosk of headlines and story snippets gathered from other websites.

Google maintains it obeys all copyright laws while sending more people to websites highlighted in its news services. The company also allows publishers to prevent material from being displayed in Google News, an option few websites choose because the service is an important traffic source to sell ads.

After Germany revised copyright laws last year in a way that could have required Google News to make royalty payments, Google required publishers to give consent for summarising content and most did.

Additional reporting by Press Association