Today, Google (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Chairman Eric Schmidt and French President Francois Hollande announced two new initiatives to help French publishers innovate and increase online revenues. First, Google has agreed to create a €60 million ($82 million) Digital Publishing Innovation Fund to drive new, digital publishing initiatives for French readers. Second, Google will help French publishers use its advertising technology to increase online sales. 

Google says this move falls in line with its 2011 commitment to invest in France, and to bolster the news industry. Launched last year, Google's Play store lets publishers make money, for instance, by charging paid subscriptions.

On Google's official blog, Schmidt writes:

A healthy news industry is important for Google and our partners, and it is essential to a free society.