Google to pay Murdoch's News Corporation for stories

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Rupert Murdoch controls News CorpImage source, Reuters

Google has agreed to pay Rupert Murdoch's News Corp for content from news sites across its media empire.

News Corporation said it would be sharing its stories in exchange for "significant payments".

Mr Murdoch has long called for Google and other internet platforms to pay media companies for their output.

Amid mounting pressure from lawmakers in Australia and elsewhere, Google last year said it would start to pay some publishers for stories.

"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 Robert Thomson, News Corporation chief executive.

The company owns The Sun, The Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the Australian, among other publications.

"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," Mr Thomson said.

Image source, Reuters

Google last year said it would start licensing "high-quality content" from publishers around the world as part of a $1bn initiative. It has signed up hundreds of media outlets in Germany, Brazil and the UK, among others, to participate in its Google News Showcase programme.

The deal with News Corp comes just days before Australia is due to pass a law allowing it to appoint an arbitrator to set fees if Google or other platforms cannot not come to terms with publishers on their own.

Google has threatened to cut its search engine in Australia over the plans. On Wednesday, Facebook said it would restrict news on its platform in the country.

In his statement, Mr Thomson said "particular thanks" was due to Australian politicians who backed the proposal.

In addition to payments, Google's News Showcase product makes tweaks to its news app, like promoting participating publishers in the newsstand section.

It also gives news organisations more control over which stories are promoted and how they appear to users who follow their outlets.

As part of its three-year-agreement, News Corp said the two firms would also collaborate on a subscription platform, share advertising revenue and invest in video journalism on YouTube, which shares a parent company with Google.

News Corp has previously struck payment deals with Apple and Facebook.

Financial deals of the News Corp deal were not disclosed.

Reuters has reported Google agreed to pay $76m over three years to a group of 121 French news publishers to end a dispute over copyright laws in Europe.