Google to close Google News Spain prior to new law

A new intellectual property law is prompting Google to close its Spanish news service.

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By :  ,  Financial Analyst

Google has announced it will be closing the Spanish version of its Google News service prior to the introduction of a new law.

The nation's government is set to enforce an intellectual property law in January which will allow Spanish publications to charge services such as Google News if their content is shown on the site. This has prompted the online search giant to pull its service from Spanish web providers which will come into effect on December 16th.

Google has challenged the ruling stating that it does not make money from the Google News search-based service. In a blog post, Richard Gingras, head of Google News, explained the importance the site has to many people around the world as well as Spain. The service provides access to world newspapers along with publications and blogs from to most famous to less well known.

Mr Gingras wrote: "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. As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable."

While Spain's "Google Tax" has not outlined a specific fee the tech company would have to pay to publishers, the search engine believes that the service would not work in the long-term. It is just the latest part of a long-running battle between Google and global newspaper publishers.

The latter believe that Google News, along with other similar services, infringe on their copyright by creating an online selection of headlines. However, Mr Gingras highlights that publishers have the option to opt out in or out of appearing in Google News.

He adds that the service creates "real value" for publications and that he was saddened that the company needed to take the decision to withdraw a valuable service from a major nation such as Spain.

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