Google Sealed Its First Licence Agreements In Italy With Several Publishers To Offer Access To Content On US Tech Group’s News Platform.

By Cristina Carlevaro And Elvira Pollina

Milan — Alphabet’s Google Has Sealed Its First Licence Agreements In Italy With Several Publishers To Offer Access To Some Of Their Content On The US Tech Group’s Showcase News Platform. Google News Showcase is a global product to pay news publishers for their content online and a new service that allows partnering publishers to curate content and provide limited access to paywalled stories for users. Showcase is expected to launch in Italy in the coming weeks, a media representative for Google said.

News publishers have long fought the world’s most popular internet search engine for compensation for using their content, with European media groups leading the charge. Google said in October that it planned to pay $1bn to publishers globally for their news over the next three years via Showcase, which will launch first in Germany, then in Belgium, India, the Netherlands and other countries.

Google’s agreements were signed with a number of Italian publishers, including RCS Mediagroup, which publishes daily Corriere della Sera as well as popular sports daily Gazzetta dello Sport, the publisher of financial daily Il Sole 24 ore and Caltagirone editore, which owns Rome-based paper Il Messaggero. No financial details were disclosed. The accords involve 13 Italian editorial companies, giving Google Showcase users access to content from 76 national and local papers.

The US tech group has sealed similar deals with other news outlets worldwide, including in Germany, Brazil and Britain. “We are pleased to have reached this agreement, which, by also regulating the issue of related rights, recognises the importance of quality information and the authority of our publications,” RCS CEO Urbano Cairo said. RCS said the deal with Google includes the Spanish-language papers owned by the group: El Mundo, Marca and Expansion.

The accord could potentially pave the way for a resumption of the US company’s news service in Spain, which was shut down in 2014 in response to legislation that meant it had to pay a mandatory collective licensing fee to republish headlines or snippets of news. Authorities worldwide have been introducing rules to require Google, Facebook and others to share revenue with publishers, including a 2019 directive from Brussels that EU countries are meant to enact into law by June. Italy and Spain still have to implement the new EU rules.

“We hope parliament will address the issue soon”, said Fabrizio Carotti, the general director at FIEG, Italy’s news publisher business lobby. “The law should give the national competition regulator the power to determine the criteria to establish how much online platforms have to pay for content in case of no agreement with publishers, helping editorial companies in their negotiations,” Carotti said.

This news was originally published at Business Live.