Google, AFP sign 5-year deal for online news content

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Google, the US-based technology giant, has entered into a five-year partnership deal with the international news agency, Agence France-Presse (AFP) as part of which the tech giant will pay AFP for its news content.

News organizations, which have been losing ad revenue to online aggregators like Google, have raised their concern for years about the tech companies using stories in search results or other features without payment.

New laws in France and Australia, fueled by media lobbying and public pressure, have given publishers greater strength, leading to a slew of licensing deals across the globe collectively worth billions of dollars.

The accord marks as the biggest licensing deal struck by a tech giant under a new French law. Google declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, but confirmed it would run for five years. The companies will also collaborate on projects, such as fact-checking.

The AFP accord follows France enacting a copyright law that creates “neighboring rights,” requiring big tech companies to open talks with news publishers that want a licensing payment.

Google earlier this year agreed to pay $76 million over three years to a group of 121 French news publishers, not including AFP. But the deal has been on hold, pending the outcome of an antitrust proceeding in which France’s competition regulator has accused Google for failing to negotiate in good faith.

The deal does not bring AFP into News Showcase, a feature that Google launched last year that promotes content from over 1,000 publishers that have agreed to license content for a fee.

Reuters signed a News Showcase agreement with Google in January, and Wall Street Journal owner News Corp closed a similar deal a month later. Facebook last month signed a neighboring rights deal with a French alliance including dozens of publishers.

Related: Revised lawsuit alleges Google of coercion to dominate ad business