Google has been having a rough go as of late in Europe. For one thing, the European Parliament seems to have it in for the search company, passing a non-binding agreement that Google should break up its business. Today, El Goog has announced they are shutting down their news aggregator in Spain.
Spain just passed legislation requiring that websites – such as Google News – pay Spanish publications for using even a snippet of a published article in any sort of aggregated fashion. Considering Google News is entirely a news aggregator, that could become quite costly. As Richard Gingras wrote in today’s blog post – Google News doesn’t actually make Google any money:
…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.
Publishers in Germany fought for – and received – similar “protection” from Google News recently. A prominent publisher opted out of Google News for two weeks before realizing that their views had plummeted, and eventually came crawling back. Only time will tell whether or not publishers in Spain will do the same.