Google will close its news portal in Spain and remove Spanish publishers from Google News everywhere following new copyright legislation that lets publishers charge internet companies for their content that's aggregated by other websites.
The company will close Google News in Spain on Dec. 16 before the new law takes effect in January, Richard Gingras, the head of Google's news service, wrote in a blog post.
"This new legislation requires every Spanish publication to charge services like Google News for showing even the smallest snippet from their publications, whether they want to or not," Mr. Gingras wrote. "As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable. So it's with real sadness that on 16 December (before the new law comes into effect in January) we'll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain."
The owner of the world's largest search engine has run into regulatory and legislative challenges in Europe this year as its size and reach raise concerns among lawmakers. Last month, members of the European Union parliament urged in a nonbinding vote that the European Commission -- which is investigating Google for possible antitrust violations -- consider splitting up search engines. In May, a court ruled citizens have a right to be forgotten when Internet searches throw up "inadequate, irrelevant, no longer relevant, or excessive" results.
The internet has created opportunities and challenges for publishers, Mr. Gingras said, adding that Google will seek to help publishers.
"We're committed to helping the news industry meet that challenge and look forward to continuing to work with our thousands of partners globally, as well as in Spain, to help them increase their online readership and revenues," he said.
~ Bloomberg News ~