Google inks five-year deal with AFP for news content

Google announced its five-year content partnership with news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) for making payment for its news content.
Google South KoreaNews organizations, which have been losing online ad revenue to online aggregators such as Google and Facebook, have complained 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 leverage, leading to a slew of licensing deals around the world collectively worth billions of dollars.

The deal with AFP 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.

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

Google’s $76 million deal with a group of 121 French news publishers, not including AFP, has been on hold, pending the outcome of an antitrust proceeding in which France’s competition regulator has accused Google of failing to negotiate in good faith.

Sebastien Missoffe, managing director of Google France, said the AFP deal showed the tech company’s “willingness to find common ground with publishers.”

The deal does not bring AFP into News Showcase, a feature that Google launched last year to promote 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 closed a similar deal a month later.

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