Google signs 5-year deal to pay for news from AFP

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OAKLAND, Calif., Nov 17 (Businesshala) – Alphabet Inc. (GOOGL.O) Google will begin paying Agence France-Presse for its news content as part of a broader five-year partnership it announced on Wednesday. One of the big licensing deals. A tech giant under a new French law.

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News organizations, which have been losing advertising revenue to online aggregators like Google and Facebook (FB.O), have complained for years about tech companies using stories in search results or other features without payment.

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New laws in France and Australia – driven by media lobbying and public pressure – have given publishers more leverage, leading to licensing deals collectively worth billions of dollars around the world.

The AFP agreement follows France enacting a copyright law that creates “neighborhood rights” requiring big tech companies to start talks with news publishers who want license payments.

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Google declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, but confirmed it would last five years. The companies said in a joint press release that they would also collaborate on projects such as fact-checking.

“This agreement is a recognition of the value of information,” Agence France-Presse chief executive Fabrice Fries said in a statement.

Google earlier this year agreed to pay $76 million over three years to a group of 121 French news publishers, which did not include AFP, Businesshala previously reported. But the deal is stalled, pending the outcome of an antitrust proceedings in which France’s competition regulator has accused Google of failing to negotiate in good faith.

Google France managing director Sebastian Misoph said the AFP deal shows the tech company’s “willingness to find common ground with publishers”.

The deal doesn’t bring AFP to News Showcase, a feature Google launched last year that promotes content from more than 1,000 publishers who have agreed to license the content for a fee.

Businesshala signed a News Showcase deal with Google in January, and News Corp (NWSA.O), owner of the Wall Street Journal, closed a similar deal a month later.

Facebook last month signed a neighbor rights agreement with a French alliance including dozens of publishers such as Le Figaro.

Reporting by Paresh Dave; Editing by Stephen Coates

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