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Google to pay some news publishers for content

By Chris Mills Rodrigo, The Hill, 06/25/20

Google announced Thursday that it will begin paying some news publishers for their content.

Its new licensing program will pay publishers for “high-quality content” to post on a news service set to launch later this year.

The program will initially include Germany’s Der Spiegel, Australia’s InQueensland and InDaily and Brazil’s Diarios Associados. 

“We are currently engaged in discussions with many more partners and plan to sign more in the coming months,” Brad Bender, Google News’s vice president of product management, said in a blog post.

The new program is a change of direction from Google, which has been under increasing antitrust scrutiny over its ad revenue dominance.

Google and Facebook together made up nearly 60 percent of the internet ad market in 2018, a dominant position that critics say has siphoned profits away from traditional news outlets.

Regulators in France and Australia have both called on Google to pay for news content.

The European Union last year also reformed its copyright laws, giving news publishers more protection to ensure they’re paid fairly for distribution of their stories.

The reform would require aggregators, like Google News, to pay for headlines and parts of stories.

“Alongside other companies, governments and civic society organizations, we’re committed to playing our part to support news businesses,” Bender said in Thursday’s blog post.

“Today’s undertaking exemplifies that, and we look forward to what we can all achieve together.”

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