Google to pay German publishers 3.2 million eur per year on interim basis

BERLIN (Reuters) – Google has agreed to pay German publishers 3.2 million euros ($3.38 million) a year for its publication of news content pending a decision from the German patent office (DPMA) on the issue, the sides said in separate statements on Thursday.

The U.S. search engine operator reached the agreement with Corint Media, an umbrella organisation that represents the interests of German and international publishers including Sat.1, ProSieben, RTL, Axel Springer and CNBC.

“The payments to Corint Media are in line with what we have already agreed with 470 regional and national publications in Germany,” Google said, pointing to existing licensing agreements with publications including Spiegel, Zeit and FAZ for the use of headlines, excerpts and thumbnails.

Corint Media, which had initially sought a payment of 420 million euros for the use of news content in 2022, said it hoped the DPMA arbitration board decision would lead to a “significant increase of the remuneration to be paid by Google”.

The sides had previously agreed on a one-off payment of 5.8 million euros by Google for the period since the introduction of new press ancillary copyright legislation in 2021.

“The quasi-monopolist Google dictates prices, so the route via the courts is the only way to arrive at appropriate remuneration for the use of content,” said Corint’s managing director Christine Jury-Fischer.

($1 = 0.9481 euros)

(Reporting by Klaus Lauer, Writing by Friederike Heine, Editing by Miranda Murray)