Search engine giant Google is going to discontinue its Google News service in Spain after a recently passed copyright legislation imposed tax on content aggregators for using such contents that are provided by the local publishers.
Announcing the move in a company blog post late Wednesday, Google said that the news service will be disabled and the Spanish publishers will be removed from Google News on December 16 before the new law takes effect in January.
In a official post, Google News head Richard 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.”
The so-called “Google tax” was passed in October this year in Spain.
The announcement has fueled the longstanding war between Google and European newspaper publishers.
Under the new copyright law, the aggregator service providers, who use links and excerpts of news articles from other sources, will have to pay a fee to the Association of Editors of Spanish Dailies.
The Association of Editors of Spanish Dailies is an organization that represents the newspaper industry of Spain. If the aggregator service providers fail to do pay the tax could face fine of up to €600,000 (USD 750,000).
Expressing disappointment with the closure of services in Spain, a Google spokesperson said in a statement, “Despite these changes, we’ll continue to work with Spanish publishers to help them increase their readership and revenues online.”
This is not the first time when any country has imposed tax on Google under such copyright law but several other European nations have pursued similar fees from the search giant in recent years with mixed results.