For those unfamiliar with “link tax”, basically it is where some government officials believe that aggregation sites, such as Google News, should pay for news links. This was a law that was passed in Spain several years ago in an attempt to help print businesses that might be losing customers to digital alternatives.
Richard Gingras, the search engine’s vice-president of news pointed out that as a result of this “link tax”, Google ultimately decided to shut down Google News in the country, and noted that this could be happening again in the EU if plans for a “link tax” were to become a reality. Gingras noted that “it’s not desirable to shut down services”, but also stated that a decision would be made once the final language of the legislation that was proposed in Brussels has been settled.
He also noted that Google News was not created for-profit reasons. “There’s no advertising in Google News. It is not a revenue-generating product to Google. We think it’s valuable as a service to society. We are proud to have it as part of the stable of properties that people have.”