Google needs news publishers as much as news publishers need Google. This is because without Google, it would be difficult for readers to discover new content from these publishers, but without these publishers, Google search wouldn’t be quite as useful.
For example, if you’ve searched for topics on Google before, you might notice some of them appear in the cards at the top of the search results page. The idea is that this makes it easier for users to see what they need quickly, but publishers aren’t happy because they aren’t getting traffic, but at the same time Google is making money off their content.
Now it seems that over in France, Google has agreed to pay Agence France-Presse (AFP) for news content for the next five years. This follows a near $600 million fine that Google was hit with by the country’s antitrust regulator following complaints from AFP, Le Monde, and Le Figaro. The company will be appealing the fine, but in the meantime they have also agreed to pay AFP for its content.
This is not the first time that publishers have expressed their discontent about the practices of these tech giants. Last year, Australia’s competition and consumer agency was looking into forcing these companies to pay for news content. It resulted in some friction between Facebook and some local publications, where Facebook basically blocked the sharing and viewing of news on its platform for users in the country.