Google revives Australia news platform launch amid content payment fight
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 seven 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 Inc owned Google in Australia declined to comment on Wednesday. Two other local publishers confirmed they had content details in place for the news site, without discussing recent talks.
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.
In a post on its local website, Silva says Google opposes paying for showing links to articles, not for publishing news…..read more