Article content continued
Financial details of the content deals weren’t disclosed, and Canberra Times publisher Australian Community Media didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Google said on Friday in a statement it looked forward to striking agreements with more Australian publishers, whose position has been bolstered by Canberra’s aggressive push back against Facebook and Google.
“This provides an alternative to the model put forward by the Australian government,” said Derek Wilding, a professor at the University of Technology Sydney’s Centre for Media Transition.
“What remains to be seen is if larger publishers sign on to the product,” said Wilding.
Last month Reuters said it had signed a deal with Google to be the first global news provider to Google News Showcase. Reuters is owned by news and information provider Thomson Reuters Corp.
Google declined to add further comment when contacted by Reuters.
Last month Google and a French publishers’ lobby agreed to a copyright framework for the tech firm to pay news publishers for content online, in a first for Europe.
Under Canberra’s proposed legislation, Google and Facebook would have to pay Australian publishers and broadcasters for content included in search results or news feeds as well. If they failed to strike a deal with publishers, a government-appointed arbitrator would decide the price.
While Google’s public stance on potentially leaving the country remains firm, Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said Google’s approach had been “constructive” in recent days during private meetings.
“The Prime Minister (Scott Morrison) and myself and (Communications Minister) Paul Fletcher had a very constructive discussion with the head of Google just yesterday,” Frydenberg told reporters in Melbourne on Friday.
“In that discussion … they re-committed to Australia, we re-committed [to the legislation].”