Google has told the French Media that it will stop providing links to its content if it is forced to pay for it.
The threat came as the French Government is proposing to implement a law that will force search engines such as Google to pay for the “privilege” of linking to such content.
In a letter obtained by AFP, Google stated
it “cannot accept” such a move and the company “as a consequence would be required to no longer reference French sites.”
It said such a law, which would require Google to make payments to media sites for displaying links to their content, would “threaten (Google’s) very existence”.
It also noted that Google “redirects four billion ‘clicks’ per month towards the Internet pages” of French media.
Google has previously faced a similar situation in Belgium, where it stopped providing links to news sites for three days until the providers eventually backed down.