In a post on the Google Europe blog today, the company wrote that it’s closing the service with “real sadness” ahead of the new law going into effect this January. It’ll start by removing Spanish publishers on 16 December, before closing down the whole product in that country.
The new Spanish law requires publications to charge services like Google News for even showing snippets from news, even if they don’t want to charge them money. Google doesn’t show ads or make any money off its News product so will close it down for Spanish visitors as it isn’t sustainable.
Perhaps the worst part about the news for Spanish publishers is that Google will also remove them from global results as part of the closedown.
The Spanish law was dubbed a “Google Tax” because it appeared to be an ill-fated bid to bring €80 million to Spain’s already struggling local media. Unfortunately, with Google pulling its News product, it’s likely to get even worse for those publishers.