Reuters reported that this would pave the way for a national deal and was likely to be of interest to other countries which are also trying to get big American digital platforms to pay for using news.
New EU copyright rules have enshrined a "neighbouring right" which allows publishers to seek a fee from digital companies who show news snippets.
Australia is in the process of finalising a mandatory code that would make it compulsory for Google and also Facebook to pay for using local news. The two companies have fought the bid from the start but a law setting terms is likely to be passed before the year ends.
On 2 October, Sundar Pichai, the head of Alphabet, the parent company of Google, announced that the company will put up US$1 billion (A$1.39 billion) for an initiative called the Google News Showcase, which would "pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience".
The French arrangement is about finding a sustainable methodology to remunerate publishers and news agencies.