Google News has faced a fair bit of opposition in recent times from publications struggling to sustain themselves in the digital age. Many publications have demanded Google pay for showing news it sources from them, even if it is only a snippet, and the Internet giant has strongly opposed such measures. While Google did see victory in Germany last year, it hasn’t had the same fortune in Spain, and now it has announced plans to shutter its service there.
In early November, the so-called “Google Tax” law was passed requiring news publishers to charge Google and companies like it a fee when their content is displayed in search results. This requirement stands even if the publication does not want to charge the fee, and it was aimed at bolstering the troubled media companies.
That plan has backfired, however, as Google neither shows ads on nor makes money from Google News, and thusly paying to show content would be unsustainable. For this reason, Google announced today it will be shutting down Google News in Spain ahead of the law coming into effect on Jan 1.
On December 16, Google will strip Spanish publishers from Google News, then will follow that up by closing the service down in Spain. This will prove a blow to local media companies that depended on the service for traffic, something that Germany’s top news publisher Axel Springer learned the hard way.