Google is set to shut down its Google News service in Spain on 16th December.
The move comes as a response to a new intellectual property law set to be introduced in the country. According to the law, Google News and other news aggregating services will have to pay the Spanish publishers for showing their content or part(s) thereof.
The head of Google News, Richard Gingras, explained the decision in a blog post earlier today, which reads in part:
Sadly, as a result of a new Spanish law, we’ll shortly have to close Google News in Spain. Let me explain why. 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. So it’s with real sadness that on 16 December (before the new law comes into effect in January) we’ll remove Spanish publishers from Google News, and close Google News in Spain.
The Spanish law, nicknamed the “Google Tax”, did not specify how much the tech giant would have to pay publisher but it did allow for a hefty fine of more than $750,000 if found violated.
These Spanish “Google Tax” efforts come shortly after the proceedings in Germany, in 2013. Germany passed legislation last year that allows publishers to charge search engines and aggregators for using any content beyond headlines, but Google asked publishers to opt-in without requiring the fee, which some did. After a two-week experiment, German news giant Axel Springer dismissed a plan last month to restrict Google access to some of its content when its sites’ traffic decreased considerably, according to Reuters.