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Google Launches News Showcase In Oz, Will It Dodge Bargaining Code Fees?

Google has launched its News Showcase platform in Australia, billing it as a way to pay news providers for journalism.

News Showcase licences news content from media outlets, which curate stories to appear on panels across Google services. Providers such as The Canberra Times, The Illawarra Mercury, Crikey, and The Conversation have already signed on, and Google says it hopes to bring more publishers on board in coming months.

According to Kate Beddoe, Head of News, Web & Publishing Product Partnerships, APAC at Google, the Australian launch of News Showcase is an effort to show Google’s commitment to the local media industry.

“We developed News Showcase in close collaboration with our news publisher partners in Australia, who have contributed valuable feedback and input on product features that will help connect readers to their journalism.

“We’re confident that News Showcase offers a fair, practical way forward for publishers to generate revenue by curating and featuring their content on this product,” said Beddoe.

Google and Facebook have been locked in a stoush with the federal government over the proposed News Media Bargaining Code, which would force them to pay for links on their platforms to Australian news outlets.

Google several weeks ago warned that it would have “no choice” but to shut down its Search service in Australia if the code went ahead in its current state, but the risk of Google pulling out of the country may have diminished following a “productive” conversation between global CEO Sundar Pichai and PM Scott Morrison last week.

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