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Google backs French digital publishing innovation initiative with €60 million incentive

Google's long had a contentious relationship with France. But it seems the Mountain View-based company has come up with a way to squash that problem: by throwing money at it. Taking to the company's official blog today, Chairman Eric Schmidt announced the creation of a €60 million Digital Publishing Innovation Fund, in cooperation with French prez François Hollande, that will help "stimulate innovation and increase revenues" for the country's publishing houses. And in a move that's in no way self-serving as a gesture of goodwill, Google's also pledging to partner with those publishers to help monetize their digital offerings using AdSense. In the search giant's defense, it had begun to work more closely with La France back in 2011, even going so far as to create a cultural center in Paris; a city it once described as "one of Europe's fastest-growing Internet economies." So, okay, maybe there's more to this investment than beefing up the bottom line. Now, if only Google could talk to Hollande about the hashtag...