Google chairman Eric Schmidt joined French President Nicolas Sarkozy to open a brand new 10,00 square-meter office space in France that will act as the company’s headquarters for France, Southern Europe, Africa, and Middle East. The new office is located in a 19th century Second Empire building close to the St. Lazare Train Station in Paris. President Sarkozy had this to say at the inauguration:
“Why as President, do I make this symbolic move and come to Google?” I love the United States, and its motto that everything is possible whatever your origins.”
Sarkozy also announced the launch of the Elysee Palace’s YouTube channel and took part in a Google+ hangout to answer questions from French Google employees. Google also outlined in a blog post their efforts with expanding into French speaking regions:
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France is a global cultural leader and we’re working hard to partner with French writers, filmmakers and musicians. Over the past year, we’ve reached an agreement with the biggest French publisher Hachette to scan and sell digital versions of out-of-print books and are providing payment systems for French news publishers from Hachette. YouTube has signed royalty-collection agreements with music copyright societies and our new Cultural Institute will be located in the Paris headquarters. It will aim at driving innovation in cultural preservation, creation and access, not just in France, but across the world.