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News publishers could charge search engines for story extracts

European news publishers will be given the right to levy fees on internet platforms such as Google if search engines show snippets of their stories, under radical copyright reforms being finalised by the European Commission.

The proposals, to be published in September, are aimed at diluting the power of big online operators, whose market share in areas such as search leads to unbalanced commercial negotiations between the search engine and content creators, according to officials.