Google revives Australia news platform launch amid content payment fight



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Smartphone with google app icon is seen in front of the displayed Australian flag in this illustration taken

By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Google is reviving plans to launch its own news website in Australia within weeks, according to a local media outlet contracted to provide articles for the venture, as the search giant fights world-first proposed laws on content payments.

The launch of the News Showcase product as early as next month is Google’s latest tactic in a high-profile campaign against the Australian government’s planned legislation to make the company pay local news providers for content that appears in its search engine.

Misha Ketchell, editor of the academic-penned newsite The Conversation, said on Wednesday he was approached by Google “to resume discussions about launching the News Showcase product as soon as possible, potentially in February. We are working with them on this.”

Google had announced plans to launch News Showcase in Australia last June, signing deals with six small local outlets, including The Conversation, for content. It subsequently delayed the launch, citing regulatory conditions, when Australia’s competition regulator published a draft copy of the proposed media bargaining code.

The decision to push ahead with the launch was an apparent show of Google’s willingness to run its own content deals, negating the need for government-mandated legislation.

A spokesman for Alphabet (NASDAQ:) Inc owned Google in Australia declined to comment on Wednesday. Two other local publishers confirmed they had content details in place for the new site, without discussing recent talks.

READ  Sterling breaks above $1.38, highest since April 2018

Google Australia Chief Executive Mel Silva told a parliamentary hearing last week the company would pull its flagship search tool from Australia if the laws, the first of their kind in the world, went ahead.

Under the planned laws, Google and social media behemoth Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) must negotiate binding commercial contracts with Australian outlets whose content drives traffic to their platforms. If they can’t strike a deal, the government will appoint an arbitrator to do it for them.

Google has argued that the legislation, which is currently the subject of a parliamentary inquiry but expected to be passed into law soon, is unworkable.

“If Google can demonstrate that it can reach agremeent with some publishers then its aim is to show that that commercial arrangements can be made in the absence of some kind of legislative intervention,” said Derek Wilding, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Media Transition.

“The question is whether those arrangements are suitable for all publishers. The kind of arrangements that Google can propose will suit some publishers, but not others.”

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

READ  Highway traffic is plunging in these US cities amid coronavirus pandemic

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





READ SOURCE

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here