Late last night rumors started to swirl around the internet that Google was going to shut down Google News in Spain because of a new tax that would force Google to pay companies money if they use them in an aggregated feed like Google News. Now let’s put that into perspective not only are the websites getting a copious amount of traffic from Google News now they want Google to pay them for having their website in Google News.
Google said how about no and is now expecting to shut down Google News by the end of the year before the law is officially set in place. The issue has turned into a joke among Spanish bloggers because major news company AEDE which was pushing the law is a news website. Now lets put this in their perspective they lobbied for a bill to be passed that is not only going to hurt the business’ of any major Spanish news website, but it is also going to hurt their own business.
If you have ever heard the phrase don’t bite the hand that feeds you, then AEDE has just done that. So Google has decided to close off the service that drives a large amount of traffic for news websites because these news based companies wanted to have Google pay them as well.
The situation is basically completely a joke and the only ones that are being hurt are the companies who were pushing for the law. However, it can be much worse for websites that use feeds from other websites. Meaning if there are other websites like Google news they are also subject to the same penalty, you have to pay a large fee or you can do it the Google way and shut it down.
Not too long ago Germany tried to do the same thing, but it ended with the law changing so that users could simply opt out because of the huge decline in their traffic.
Who knows maybe Spain will be different, maybe it will inspire new business ideas, or will they go crawling back to Google?