Amid ongoing negotiations with the Australian government over proposed legislation, Google has signaled cooperation by signing a multimillion-dollar news deal.
The Australian government is working on legislation that would force companies like Google and Facebook to pay for the news they quote and link to. Google has long been opposed to paying for news, claiming that publishers benefit from its actions far more than it does.
The legislation has been a point of major contention, with Google threatening to pull its search out of Australia altogether if the government proceeds. That threat has opened the door for Microsoft, who has supported the legislation and tried to assure officials it could meet consumer demand in Google’s absence.
In the latest signal Google is working to appease lawmakers, the company has inked a deal reportedly worth $30 million with Seven West Media, one of Australia’s biggest news publishers, according to Business Insider.
Seven West Media’s content will be available via Google’s News Showcase platform, which it rolled out in Australia last week. The company is clearly trying to show the legislation is not needed, although it’s unlikely the government will abandon its efforts.
Beyond Australia, the implications are far-reaching for Google and Facebook both. Should Australia pass the legislation, and especially if Google does not follow through on its threat to withdraw, other countries may pass similar laws. In fact, Microsoft is already pushing for the US to do exactly that.