Free held talks with Google in mid-December to ask the US company to pay it for the massive traffic volume of YouTube videos. Digital economy minister Fleur Pellerin will meet both parties on 7 January, and telecom regulator Arcep expects precisions from Free in the middle of the week concerning why and how it is blocking ads. The software upgrade targeted all Google-served ads, but some websites were not affected at all, according to press reports.
Free’s “coup de theatre” proves that Web filtering by domain name works, writes Les Echos, but French ISPs’ general position stands: no web filtering unless specifically requested by a judge. Industry players will be able to discuss the Free-Google dispute at length at a ministry of finance roundtable on net neutrality on 15 January. Google said it was aware of Free’s actions and was investigating the impact. The ITU treaty rejected in December would have required internet giants to pay to access end users.
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