October 16, 2021

Google releases News Showcase in Australia after dispute over link payment

Google will introduce the news platform News Showcase in Australia on Friday. With the platform, the tech giant wants to comply with the new Australian media law that requires internet companies to pay publishers for linking to news.

On the basis of information cards, called Story Panels, a user can scroll through the news offer of the participating publishers and click on an article. These Story Panels can contain complete articles or show a summary that can be clicked to read the full article on the website of the publisher.

Google says it pays special attention to local and independent media with the platform . In Australia, News Showcase will feature content from The Canberra Times, The New Daily, The Conversation and more titles to follow.

Google has long been in conflict with the Australian government for linking news articles. Google’s indexation and the display of news items in Google News search results would cause media companies to lose a lot of advertising revenue.

The Australian government therefore introduced a new law at the end of 2020 that requires internet platforms to pay for linking to news articles. In Europe too, there are voices to impose stricter rules on internet platforms when it comes to linking to news.

Previously, Google and Facebook criticized the new Australian law called ‘ News Media Bargaining Code’ . Google stated last week that omitting links to news items or government influence on algorithms that determine search results would not benefit consumers. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, in turn threatened to ban Australian users from sharing local news articles on the platform.

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News Showcase was first released in Brazil and Germany in mid-2020. Google said it is now partnering with more than 200 media companies, paying the companies $ 1 billion over the next three years from their contributions to News Showcase. With the introduction in Australia, News Showcase is currently active in three countries. Later this year the service would be introduced in other countries.