Google, News Corp Strike Deal as Australia Threatens to Force Tech Companies to Pay for Journalism


The News Corporation logo is displayed on the side of a building in midtown Manhattan in New York, February 27, 2018. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

News Corp announced on Wednesday that it reached a deal with Google whereby the search engine will pay for news content.

The deal comes as the Australian parliament is expected to pass legislation, before the end of February, that would force tech companies including Google and Facebook to pay news outlets for content appearing on their platforms. The legislation would grant an independent body the power to arbitrate claims by local news organizations and tech platforms. In January, Google threatened to leave Australia entirely if the legislation was approved.

Australian news organizations have complained that their advertising revenues have dropped over the past decade, with ad revenues moving to social media platforms instead. News Corp Australia, the local branch of the media company led by Australia-born Rupert Murdoch, was an advocate of the bill.

News Corp “has agreed to an historic multi-year partnership with Google to provide trusted journalism from its news sites around the world in return for significant payments by Google,” the media company said in a statement. “The landmark three-year agreement also includes the development of a subscription platform, the sharing of ad revenue via Google’s ad technology services, the cultivation of audio journalism and meaningful investments in innovative video journalism by YouTube.”

After their threat to leave Australia failed to stop the new regulatory legislation from advancing, Google struck deals to pay for content from other local outlets in addition to News Corp Australia, The New York Times reported.

“Australia makes our rules for things you can do in Australia. That’s done in our parliament. It’s done by our government. And that’s how things work here in Australia,” Prime Minister Scot Morrison commented in January.

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