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– European Regulators Impose $271 Million Fine on Google for Utilizing Gemini AI Tool

Google said the fine was disproportionate, and said the watchdog had not sufficiently taken into ac…

France’s antitrust authority imposed a fine of $271.7 million on Google, a subsidiary of Alphabet, for breaching EU intellectual property regulations concerning its interactions with media firms. The penalty was attributed to concerns regarding the company’s AI solutions.

The authority alleged that Google’s AI-driven chatbot, initially named Bard and later rebranded as Gemini, lacked awareness of the content published by media outlets and news publishers.

Google reportedly agreed not to challenge the findings during the settlement talks and put forward remedial measures to address identified issues.

The antitrust regulator highlighted that Google’s AI chatbot, Bard, operated without knowledge that content was sourced from publishers and news organizations.

In response to the settlement, Google expressed a desire to move forward and focus on sustainable methods to connect users with premium content while collaborating effectively with French publishers.

The company criticized the fine as unjust and contended that the regulator failed to fully recognize its efforts in an unpredictable environment.

The fine stemmed from a copyright conflict in France regarding online content, triggered by complaints from Agence France Presse (AFP), a prominent media entity in the country.

Google’s appeal against an initial €500 million fine, following an extensive investigation by the Autorité de la Concurrence, was apparently resolved in 2022.

Despite this, the antitrust authority stated that Google breached four of the seven commitments outlined in the settlement, such as negotiating with publishers in good faith and ensuring transparency.

The regulator pointed out that Google’s AI chatbot, Bard, utilized data from undisclosed media sources without proper engagement, affecting publishers’ ability to negotiate equitable terms.

Google was accused of linking the display of protected content to its AI services’ utilization, thereby impeding fair negotiations between publishers and news agencies.

The substantial fine was deemed disproportionate by Google, amidst ongoing disputes over AI services utilizing online content without consent and fair compensation for publishers, writers, and news outlets.

In a separate legal battle, The New York Times sued Google’s competitors, Microsoft and OpenAI, in 2023 for allegedly using millions of its articles without authorization to train chatbots, emphasizing the need for clarity in content usage agreements.

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Tags: , , Last modified: March 21, 2024
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