The French government said it would extend to the end of January the deadline for talks between Google Inc and the French press to settle a dispute over the search engine's links to online news articles.
Press associations in France, and other European countries, want Google to pay when it displays links to newspapers in Internet searches.
In reply, Google has threatened to stop indexing articles from the French press.
Talks between the search engine and French publishers, which the government said are advancing, were expected to wrap up by the end of the year.
If no deal were struck, France would press ahead with a law that would force Google to pay for the right to provide links to online news articles.