Google has announced that it will be shuttering its Google News service in Spain in response to a new law that will go into effect next year. The law will require the Silicon Valley-based Internet giant to pay news organizations if they are linked on the Google News service.
According to a report by the Associated Press, even though Spain’s new intellectual property laws, known colloquially as the “Google Tax,” will not be taking effect in the country until Jan. 1, Google announced in a statement that it will stop linking Spanish publisher content as soon as Dec. 16.
“But sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll have to close Google News in Spain,” Richard Gingras, Head of Google News wrote in a statement. “Let me explain why. The 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. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable.”
In addition to shuttering the service in Spain, the company will also be removing links to Spanish news content from Google News in other regions as well. According to a report by the Guardian, services posting news articles will pay the fee to the Association of Editors of Spanish Dailies, and can be charged up to 600,000 euro, which is about $748,000. The report also says other similar sites like Yahoo News will also be affected by the new law.
Gringas expressed his “real sadness” of Google News’ departure from Spain. “For centuries publishers were limited in how widely they could distribute the printed page. The Internet has changed all that -- creating tremendous opportunities but also real challenges for publishers as competition both for readers’ and attention for advertising Euros increased.“
According to the company, Google News is available in more than 70 international regional editions and covers 35 languages.