According to foreign media reports, two sources who read a new investigation report said,French antitrust investigators have accused Google, owned by alphabet, of failing to comply with orders from the national competition authority on how to negotiate copyright issues with news publishers.In the 93 page opposition statement, investigators said Google's failure to comply was extremely serious, the source said.
Meanwhile, French news publishers have complained that Google has failed to negotiate with them in good faith to reach an agreement. Reuters reported earlier this month that the publishers were not covered by the $76 million three-year agreement the U.S. company signed with 121 publishers.
The agreement is seen as an important step forward for Google and the publishers who signed it, but it has angered many publications.
The French competition authority can impose a fine of 10% of sales on companies it considers to have violated its regulations. It is reported that Google's annual sales last year were about $183 billion.
The investigation report is a key factor in the agency's sanctions process, but whether a fine is issued depends on the oversight committee headed by Isabelle de Silva.
In response to requests for media comment, Google said in a statement: "our top priority is to comply with the law and continue to negotiate with publishers in good faith, as evidenced by the agreements we have reached with publishers in the past few months."
"We will now review the objection statement and work closely with the French competition regulator," Google continued
As France reports on Google's negotiating strategy, countries around the world are urging U.S. Internet giants such as Google and Facebook to share more revenue with news publishers. Facebook banned all its news services in Australia after a draft Australian law called for arbitration.
According to the two sources, French investigators said Google did not comply with the regulator's request to negotiate with publishers within three months and provide all the data that regulators believe publishers need.