Although it hurried to launch News Showcase in Australia, Google lost its battle to completely avoid the news media code. Thus, the Sydney Morning Herald and the Aged refused to negotiate until the code comes into effect. Still, it managed to reach a deal with seven Australian publishers.
Google lost, despite its threats
Google lost its position of power to impose its conditions to the authorities, despite its threats. The giant threatened that it would leave Australia and cut the access to its tools for businesses.
In order to prove its determination, the giant even blocked some news websites in Australia, last month. Also, it played its financial impact on the development of the Australian economy.
But recently, Microsoft announced that it was ready to offer Bing in order to replace Google’s search engine. Regarding this matter, the authorities even had talks with Microsoft.
Still, it seems that Google failed to win against the news media code as it had to finally pay publishers for their content, in France. The Alliance de la Presse d’Information Générale announced the deal in January.
The giant is still playing tough
Although it might seem that it lost a battle, Google would not give up easily. Thus, Google approached some major publishers. The company came with revised offers according to its News Showcase product. In fact, it hurried up to launch it, in order to obtain a revision of the code.
Last week there were talks between Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai. Still, the company came with tough conditions for its new offers.
These allow Google to terminate any deals, if the government does not revise its digital media regulation proposal. Also, the deals would terminate if it stops its search in Australia.
Moreover, the deals would be terminated if disputes over payment are managed through “final offer” arbitration. In fact, this is the key component of the code that bothered Google most.
The mechanism allows two parties to allow an arbitrator which offer is more appropriate.
Under the new code, both Google and Facebook should pay Australian news providers, in order to display news in search results and news feed. Otherwise, they could face fines of up to 10 percent of annual revenues.
Thus, the “war” is far from over, but Morrison mentioned that Showcase might lead to a compromise.