News Corp latest to make deal with Google in Australia push

by Jeremy

Australian lawmakers are considering forcing digital giants into such agreements.

News Corp CEO Robert Thomson thanked Australian officials in a statement, saying they “have stood firm for their country and journalism.” On Monday, major Australian media organization Seven West Media had struck a deal with Google to pay for journalism. Its rival Nine Entertainment is reportedly close to announcing its own agreement.

Australia’s Treasurer Josh Frydenberg confirmed earlier Wednesday that state-owned Australian Broadcasting Corp. is also in negotiations and plans to spend any Google revenue on regional journalism.

“Negotiations are going on with all the major players and the minor players at the moment,” Frydenberg said. “This will help sustain public interest journalism in this country for years to come.” Frydenberg said “none of these deals would be happening” if not for proposed legislation to create a so-called News Media Bargaining Code. Lawmakers were debating amended legislation to make the code in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The code would create an arbitration panel to set a binding price for news in cases where Google and Facebook fail to reach deals with media companies whose original journalism they link to.

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