Last year, the Australian government proposed new laws that enforced tech giants like Google and Facebook to pay media outlets in the country for using their content. While other companies were not quite vocal about the change in circumstances, Google clearly stated its displeasure and called the law “unworkable”. The company even went as far as to threaten the Australian government that it would withdraw its key services from the country if the law was not revoked.
However, it looks like these claims were nothing more than a bluff and Google is not leaving Australia after all. In a recent earnings report announcement by the Australian free-to-air television network Seven West, it was revealed that Google has come to terms and finalized a deal with the firm in the wake of the new law. This is the first major Aussie news outlet to seal a licensing deal with Google.
Previous reports suggest that Google has already attempted to reach a deal with News Corp and Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd but an agreement could not be reached with both parties. Both news outlets were hoping to capitalize on the new law that would have allowed the government to set the online giant’s content fees in the absence of a private deal.
This news will be seen as a blow by Microsoft since the company was gearing up to use its project Bing as a replacement for Google after it pulled out of Australia.
Talking about this, Google’s Australia CEO Mel Silva stated that the U.S. company was “proud to support original, trusted, and quality journalism” by featuring Seven on its platform.