Google News shutters in Spain in response to ‘Google Tax’ law

December 11, 2014, 1:36 PM UTC
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Google is shutting down its news service in Spain as the country moves forward with a new intellectual property law.

Google News, the online search giant’s product that provides a stream of top articles from various journalism outlets, will close on Dec. 16 before the law takes effect in January.

Spain’s new law, nicknamed the “Google Tax,” would require publishers to charge Google (GOOG) to show their content on its news site.

The legislation doesn’t outline how much publishers would have to charge, but it would apply to “even the smallest snippet from their publications,” wrote Richard Gringras, the head of Google News, in a blog post Wednesday.

“As Google News itself makes no money (we do not show any advertising on the site) this new approach is simply not sustainable,” Gringras said.

Failure to follow the new copyright law in Spain would incur a fine of 600,000 euro (about $748,000).

Google News, which operates more than 70 international editions in 35 languages, will remove Spanish publishers from all international News sites when it shutters its local edition.