The campaign was criticized by German politicians who said the company is trying to use its users for lobbying interests under the pretext of a "so-called project for the freedom of the Internet", they said at the time.
Meanwhile, French publishers want to be able to charge Google to compensate them for ad revenue losses, an issue that has been discussed at the highest political level in the country.
In October, French President Francois Hollande warned Google that France may introduce a law to make Google pay for republishing news snippets if it doesn't strike a deal with French news publishers before the end of the year.
Loek is Amsterdam Correspondent and covers online privacy, intellectual property, open-source and online payment issues for the IDG News Service. Follow him on Twitter at @loekessers or email tips and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org