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Oz Watchdog Not Swayed By Google’s Latest News Service

SYDNEY: The competition watchdog the ACCC said Google’s newly-launched News Showcase ignores the main tenants of the Australian Government’s proposed media bargaining code.

Google launched its News Showcase product in Australia on Friday, announcing it had signed up independent publications including The Canberra Times, Crikey, The Conversation and The New Daily.

In a blog post, Google said that News Showcase would be available to Australian users from Friday, and would initially appear across its Google News product, with plans to sign deals with more publishers and bring them on board to Search.

The launch marks the first time the tech giant will pay publishers for their news content in Australia, and comes hard on the heels of Scott Morrison’s meeting with Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

Google appears to be backing down from its threats to leave the country if it has to pay for news content, Morrison said, declaring the meeting with the tech giant as in a “more positive space” about its Australian future.

But ACCC chair Rod Sims, a proponent of the media bargaining code, said that Showcase still did not address the competition watchdog’s key concerns, including the power imbalance between the tech giants and smaller publishers.

Rod Sims, ACCC.

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