Google Starts Paying for News in Australia

Posted on February 17, 2021 by Paul Thurrott in Google with 24 Comments

After threatening to pull Search from Australia because of a proposed new law requiring it to pay for news, Google has started paying up. See? This is what can happen when governments, lawmakers, and regulators stand up against Big Tech.

Last month, Google mounted a campaign to get Australia to reverse course on its planned News Media Bargaining Code, which would require it—and other companies like Facebook—to start paying for the news they had been scraping off the websites of Australian-based content creators. It threatened to pull Google Search from that market if the country refused.

Now, not so much. With the new legislation set to pass in Australia, Google has struck deals with some of the country’s top news outlets, and will now pay them for the content it has previously stolen. The deals are said to be worth tens of millions of dollars per year. Google will also pay newsmakers like The Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch, and The New York Post, and it has separately reached a deal with France.

Google’s about-face is exactly what Australia was hoping for: The new legislation specifically allows media companies to individually or collectively make deals with content scrapers like Google and Facebook.

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