Google struck a deal with the Murdoch-owned media conglomerate News Corp as proposed legislation in Australia threatens to jeopardize tech platform’s future operations in the country. Under the three-year deal announced today, News Corp brands in the U.S., U.K. and Australia like The Wall Street Journal and New York Post will be featured in the Google News Showcase.
The companies will enter into an ad revenue-sharing agreement, develop a subscription platform and YouTube will invest in video journalism as part of the deal, according to a press release. News Corp’s stock popped on the news before settling later. Google and News Corp are unlikely bedfellows as the media giant has been a longtime critic of Google’s. News Corp has pushed for regulators around the world to break up the company and scolded it for allegedly ripping off publishers.
But Google now finds itself in a precarious position in Australia, where complaints by News Corp and others have helped fuel a push to take some of the strongest measures in the world against the tech platforms. With the new legislation, the Australian government seeks to require online platforms like Google and Facebook to pay news outlets for displaying and linking to their content.
Google and Facebook have pushed back strongly against the proposal. Google threatened to pull its service from the country if enacted. Facebook said it would be forced to block users in Australia from sharing news content. Australian officials backing the legislation have largely dismissed the most drastic threats. Microsoft, which has its own search engine, recently said it supported the legislation and would be willing to live by the rules if deemed subject to them.
“Today’s agreement with News Corp covers a wide range of our products such as News Showcase, YouTube, Web Stories, Audio and our ad technology,” Don Harrison, president of global partnerships at Google, said in a statement. “News Showcase now has partnerships with over 500 publications around the world, demonstrating the value this product can bring to our news partners and readers everywhere. We hope to announce even more partnerships soon.”
News Corp CEO Robert Thomson praised Google in a statement for a “thoughtful commitment to journalism,” and said he is “gratified that the terms of trade are changing, not just for News Corp, but for every publisher.” He thanked the head of the Australian competition regulator as well as the country’s prime minister and treasurer for standing “firm for their country and for journalism.”