French telecommunications provider Orange
has imposed a deal on Google, forcing the search giant to pay for traffic sent through its data networks. The agreement, terms of which remain undisclosed, sees Google compensate the carrier for its sites taking up roughly 50 percent of all traffic on Orange's networks.
Orange CEO Stephane Richard called the agreement a "balance of forces," citing the importance of Orange's size and 230 million customer base in forging the deal. Speaking to France's BFM Business TV
and picked up by AFP
, Richard expressed that large Internet entities, such as Google, should be looked towards for payment to cover traffic costs, due to the sheer volumes.
Google has spent a considerable amount of time dealing with Internet service and content providers in Europe, and this deal is likely to be the first of a number it will forge. In 2010, the chief of T-Mobile's parent company, Deutsche Telekom
, suggested that big name sites should pay for higher-quality mobile data, in a push for what would be considered a tiered Internet. In more recent developments, Google was threatened by newspaper publishers
in France to pay for links to their content, with members of the French government claiming to be in favor of a law that would force such compensation. This led to Google telling French media companies that they could be removed from search listings if such a law is put into practice.