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Google Agrees to Pay Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. for Content

Google's HQ
(Image credit: The Pancake of Heaven! - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=77221979)

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. on Wednesday announced a landmark three-year deal with Google in which the global search giant will make “significant payments” for the publisher’s news content.

News Corp. digital news sites including the Wall Street Journal, Barron’s, MarketWatch and the New York Post, as well as the UK’s Times, Sunday Times and Sun will be joining Google News Showcase. 

Launched in October, Google News Showcase was billed by Google CEO Sundar Pichal as a “a new kind of news experience,” with the tech company committing $1 billion to license “high-quality content” from-name brand news publishers.

Media companies including News Corp. have complained for several years that they are not fairly compensated when their content appears on the platforms of Google and Facebook, generating millions of dollars in advertising revenue. 

Google recently threatened to pull its search business out of Australia when the local government threatened to enact laws mandating that tech giants pay for news.

However, Google seems to have pivoted, and is now getting ahead of the issue, entering into a flurry of recent content deals with news publishers around the world. 

“I would like to thank Sundar Pichai and his team at Google who have shown a thoughtful commitment to journalism that will resonate in every country. This has been a passionate cause for our company for well over a decade and I am gratified that the terms of trade are changing, not just for News Corp, but for every publisher,” said News Corp. CEO Robert Thomson in a statement.

“The deal simply would not have been possible without the fervent, unstinting support of Rupert and Lachlan Murdoch, and the News Corp Board,” Thomson added. “For many years, we were accused of tilting at tech windmills, but what was a solitary campaign, a quixotic quest, has become a movement, and both journalism and society will be enhanced.”