Google to stop showing news snippets for French users

FILE PHOTO: Visitors pass by the logo of Google at the high profile startups and high tech leaders gathering, Viva Tech,in Paris, France May 16, 2019. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

(Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google will stop showing news snippets from European publishers on search results for its French users, complying with a new European copyright law, the company said on Wednesday.

The change means French users will only see the headlines and not the first few lines or a thumbnail image for news content unless European publishers specifically request to show previews, the company said. (

Thousands of European publishers are expected to be affected by the changes, but French publishers will be the most hit.

The move may impact publishers’ revenue stream as visibility on Google drives traffic to their websites, potentially boosting advertising and subscriptions.

Spain and Germany in recent years tried to force Google to pay publishers for taking snippets of their news articles, but that backfired after Google News pulled out from Spain and traffic of German publisher Axel Springer plunged after it sought to block the search engine.

France is the only EU country so far to implement the bloc’s far-reaching copyright reforms, which were adopted earlier this year. The countries have a year or so to follow suit.

Reporting by Ayanti Bera in Bengaluru and Foo Yun Chee in Brussels; Editing by Maju Samuel and Sriraj Kalluvila