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(AUSTRALIA) New Showcase Platform Report: Google has launched a platform in the country offering news it has paid for after striking its own content deals with publishers #AceNewsDesk report

#AceNewsReport – Feb.06: It’s part of a drive to show that world-first legislation proposed by the Federal Government to enforce payments is unnecessary: But Alphabet-owned Google delayed plans when the Government moved to make it a legal requirement for Google and Facebook to pay Australian media companies for content:

‘Google opens paid-for Australian platform in drive to undercut Government’s proposed content payment laws …..Only rolled out previously in Brazil and Germany, the News Showcase platform was originally slated for launch last June’

ABC News: Posted 8h ago

Google's logo in neon lights.
Google has said proposed legislation forcing it to pay for news was “unworkable”.(Unsplash: Mitchell Luo)

The tech giant, still lobbying the Australian Government in private meetings, has previously said was the legislation was “unworkable” and would force it to pull out of the country altogether if implemented.

With the legislation now before a parliamentary inquiry, the launch of News Showcase in Australia will see it pay seven domestic outlets, including the Canberra Times, to use their content.

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Financial details of the content deals weren’t disclosed, and Canberra Times publisher, Australian Community Media, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Google said it looked forward to striking agreements with more Australian publishers, whose position has been bolstered by Canberra’s aggressive push back against Facebook and Google.

“This provides an alternative to the model put forward by the Australian Government,” said Derek Wilding, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Media Transition.

“What remains to be seen is if larger publishers sign on to the product.”

Last month Reuters said it had signed a deal with Google to be the first global news provider to Google News Showcase. Reuters is owned by news and information provider Thomson Reuters Corp.

Google declined to add a further comment when contacted by Reuters: Last month, Google and a French publishers’ lobby agreed to a copyright framework for the tech firm to pay news publishers for content online, in a first for Europe.Crushed: Digital giants vs Australian mediaWithin a couple of years the likes of Google and Facebook will devour more than half local ad revenues, leaving only crumbs for traditional media players.Read more

Under the proposed legislation in Australia, Google and Facebook would have to pay publishers and broadcasters for content included in search results or news feeds as well. 

If they failed to strike a deal with publishers, a government-appointed arbitrator would decide the price.

While Google’s public stance on potentially leaving the country remains firm, Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Google’s approach had been “constructive” in recent days during private meetings.

“The Prime Minister [Scott Morrison] and myself and [Communications Minister] Paul Fletcher had a very constructive discussion with the head of Google just yesterday,” Mr Frydenberg said.

“In that discussion … they re-committed to Australia, we re-committed [to the legislation].”

Reuters/ABC

#AceNewsDesk report …………..Published: Feb.06: 2021:

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