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Google to pay publishers $1bn to use content

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Google will pay news publishers $1 billion over three years to license their articles, offering another olive branch to the industry after years of friction.

The company, which is owned by Alphabet, the $1 trillion internet giant, yesterday launched Google News Showcase, an update to its Google News search site. News Showcase will display article panels inside Google News and publishers will be able to curate the content inside these panels. If a user clicks on the panel, they will be directed to the publisher’s website.

The ubiquity of free news on the internet, declining print advertising revenues and Google and Facebook’s dominance of the growing digital advertising market have raised concerns about the future of quality journalism. Several large publishers have criticised Google for using snippets of their articles on its sites without permission.

The launch comes as federal and state prosecutors investigate Google and other big tech companies for possible competition infringements.

News Showcase launched in Germany and Brazil yesterday and will be rolled out to other countries, including the UK, in the coming months.

Robert Thomson, chief executive of News Corp, said: “We applaud Google’s recognition of a premium for premium journalism and the understanding that the editorial eco-system has been dysfunctional, verging on dystopian.”



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