Australia says content laws already working after Nine-Google deal reports

Platform Industry: Google News Australia

The Australian government said the promised laws forcing tech giants to pay media outlets for content had already succeeded after reports that publisher and broadcaster Nine Entertainment agreed on a landmark licensing deal with search titan Google.

The Alphabet Inc owned company agreed to pay Nine more than A$30 million (approximately $23.25 million) a year for its content, two of Nine’s newspapers reported, citing unidentified industry sources. The deal would be formally signed in the next two weeks, the newspapers said.

A Nine spokeswoman declined to comment to journalists at our partner news agency Reuters. Google also declined to comment.

Nine would be the second major Australian media company to reach an agreement with Google just as the country’s parliament prepares to pass laws giving the government power to set Google’s content fees.

On Monday, Nine’s key local rival Seven West Media said it had reached a deal that local media reported would also involve the US company paying it a fee of some A$30 million a year.

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“None of these deals would be happening if we didn’t have the legislation before the Parliament,” Australian treasurer Josh Frydenberg told reporters.

“This legislation, this world-leading mandatory code, is bringing the parties to the table. We have held the line and held it strongly.”

The Australian government plans to put the laws which in all but name force Google and Facebook to strike deals with media companies or have fees set for them to a vote in the coming weeks.

Last year, seven smaller media companies, specialist websites and a regional newspaper, signed deals to have their content appear on Google’s News Showcase platform, but the country’s main metro outlets failed to reach agreements.

Several large domestic media players, including News Corp – which owns two-thirds of Australian newspapers – have yet to announce Google deals. A News Corp spokesman was not immediately available for comment on Wednesday.

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Media outlets around the world are trying to find a way to compensate for a slump in advertising revenue, traditionally their main source of income, which has resulted in widespread closures.

In January, our content partners Reuters, a division of Thomson Reuters, struck a deal with Google to be the first global news provider for Google’s News Showcase.

The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed this news article. Translation from English to other languages via Google Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Byron Kaye. Editing by Christopher Cushing.

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