Google is currently pushing to strike last-minute deals under its ‘News Showcase’ product, after the government indicated it might be willing to modify the News Media Bargaining Code.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, Google has approached major publishers in Australia in recent days with revised offers for the News Showcase, which was launched in Australia last week.
The News Showcase is a global initiative that will see the tech giant pay publishers around the world $US1 billion over the next three years.
Despite previously saying it would pause the rollout of the program, Google announced it had signed seven local publishers – including Australian Community Media (ACM), Schwartz Media, Solstice Media, The Conversation, and Private Media – to receive payments under the News Showcase.
Google has argued that it should be able to pay publishers through the News Showcase as part of the News Media Bargaining Code.
And while the government has previously refuted this proposal, Google’s recent threats to discontinue search in Australia as well as recent talks between Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has meant there is some hope of the standoff coming to an end.
According to the Herald, Google has now approached News Corp, Nine, the ABC and other major publishers with revised deals.
The deals state Google can terminate the agreement if the new code includes final offer arbitration or a requirement for Google to pay publishers for using search.
And while the News Showcase has now emerged as a potential solution, on Friday, Nine put forward an argument against it.
“This is what monopolies do, they put an offer, in the form of Google Showcase, but not offer to negotiate. It has to be all on their terms and that is not an approach we will participate in, we support the legislation the Government is proposing as the best way to secure a fair payment for our content,” a Nine spokesperson said.
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