CANBERRA, Australia (AP) Rupert Murdochs News Corp said it has struck a deal for Google to pay for the news as the digital giant rushes to negotiate generous deals with large and small Australian media companies.
Australian lawmakers plan to force digital giants into such deals.
News Corp said it would receive large payments from Google as part of the three-year deal, which includes prominent news organizations in the English-speaking world, such as the Wall Street Journal and the New York Post in the United States. United, The Times and the United Kingdom and local newspapers, the Australian and Sky News in Australia. The deal covers audio and video, and News Corp will also get a share of Google’s ad revenue.
News Corp CEO Robert Thomson thanked Australian officials in a statement, saying they stood firm for their country and for journalism.
The large Australian media organization Seven West Media on Monday reached an agreement with Google to pay for journalism. Rival Nine Entertainment is reportedly set to announce its own deal.
Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed earlier Wednesday that state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corp. was also in negotiations and planned to spend Google’s revenue on regional journalism.
Negotiations are ongoing with all major players and minor players right now, Frydenberg said. This will help sustain public interest journalism in this country for years to come.
Frydenberg said none of these deals would happen without a bill to create a so-called news media bargaining code.
Lawmakers were debating amended legislation on Wednesday to create the code in the House of Representatives.
The code would create an arbitration panel to set a binding price for news in cases where Google and Facebook fail to strike deals with media companies whose original journalism they are linked to.
All I’ve heard from the parties, both in the news media sector and in terms of digital platforms, is that these are generous deals, Frydenberg said.
These are fair deals. These are great deals. These are good deals for Australian media companies, he added.
Google and Facebook, which account for 81% of online advertising in Australia, condemned the code as unworkable.
Google says it could make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the code is introduced. Facebook said it could block Australians from sharing news if the platform were to pay for the news.
Frydenberg said after weekend talks with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai, CEO of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary Google, that he was confident the platforms wanted to make these trade deals.
Frydenberg has denied ceding ground to Zuckerberg and Pichai by agreeing to change the law.
We held the line and held it firmly, said Frydenberg. And the digital giants had no doubts about the. . . governments solve.
Google has confirmed that it is in discussions with publishers large and small. He did not provide the terms of the deal to News Corp on Wednesday. Facebook is also looking for news offers, but said it had nothing to confirm at this time.
Australian deals with Google are being negotiated under Googles’ own model, News Showcase. The company has entered into compensation agreements with more than 450 publications worldwide since the launch of News Showcase in October.
Investment bank JPMorgan has estimated that Seven West Media could receive between A $ 39.5 million ($ 30.6 million) and A $ 69.2 million ($ 53.6 million) per year from its content contract with Google based on an analysis of similar offers in France.
Nine signed a letter of intent with Google for a deal worth more than A $ 30 million ($ 23 million) per year for five years, reported the Sydney Morning Herald, which is owned by Nine.
The newspaper cited anonymous industry sources familiar with the negotiations who could not speak publicly due to confidentiality agreements.
Nine said in a statement that she had had constructive discussions with Google and Facebook.
Google announced two weeks ago that it had started paying for seven much smaller Australian websites under News Showcase. Prices have not been disclosed.
Facebook has a comparable product called Facebook News, but it is not available in Australia.
Some media analysts are surprised that Australian media companies are making deals with News Showcase when they want to make more money through compulsory arbitration under the government code.
Frydenberg suggested that Googles’ threat to leave Australia had diminished as the speed of those negotiations picked up.
We have sought to keep the major players in Australia, said Frydenberg. Google had spoken of leaving Australia. We never wanted that to happen. They are an important part of the age of the digital landscape.
Marcus Strom, chairman of the Media, Entertainment and the Arts Alliance, the Australian Union of Journalists, said media companies have a moral obligation to generate revenue from digital platforms in information gathering .
The money from these deals needs to end up in the newsroom, not the boardroom, Strom said. We will insist on transparency on how these funds are spent.
Google faces pressure from foreign authorities to pay for the news. Last month, he signed a deal with a group of French publishers that paves the way for him to pay for digital copyright. Under the deal, Google will negotiate individual license agreements with newspapers, with payments based on factors such as the amount of daily and monthly traffic posted to the website.
AP Technology writer Tali Arbel has contributed from New York.
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