December 11, 2014 Last Updated 7:04 pm

Google News shuts down in Spain over required payments

New legislation would demand Google pay publications for right to display news snippets in its search results on Google News

Here we go again. Google has shut down its Google News feature in Spain because of a recently passed law which requires Google to pay newspapers and other media outlets for displaying content snippets in its search results inside Google News. The new law goes into effect on January 1.

Google announced the move on its Europe Blog.


“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,” Richard Gingras, Head of Google News 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 move is consistent with what Google has said and done in other European countries where action has been taken to force Google to pay publishers for displaying their content in search results. In Germany publishers backed down after they saw a sharp decrease in their traffic after their content was pulled.

The Spanish law, which establishes the Google tax and was pushed by the Asociación de Editores de Diarios Españoles, demands that news aggregators such as Google News pay “fair compensation” to editors for reproducing “fragments of content, circulated via periodical publications or on webpages that are periodically updated and that are aimed at informing, creating public opinion or entertaining,” according to the English edition of El País.

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