Google will pay partnered media publishers in three countries and offer some users free access to paywalled news sites , the tech giant said Thursday .
The announcement comes after legal battles in France and Australia over Google ’s refusal to pay news organizations for content .
In a blog post, the firm said they would launch “a licensing program to pay publishers for high – quality content for a new news experience” due to launch later this year .
Brad Bender , Google ’s vice – president of product management , said they had been in discussions with partnered publishers — including the Spiegel Group in Germany, Schwartz media in Australia and Brazil ’s Diarios Associados — for several months, “with more to come.”
“Google will also offer to pay for free access for users to read paywalled articles on a publisher ’ s site ,” the statement said , without offering any further details .
Bender said the program will help publishers “monetize their content through an enhanced storytelling experience.”
He added it would build on the 2018 Google News Initiative , a $ 300 million project that aimed to tackle disinformation online and help news sites grow financially .
It comes after growing calls for internet tech titans, notably Google , to pay for content .
A number of European and global publications — including AFP — have called on the European Union to adopt laws requiring internet companies to pay for the material they produce .
In April , France ’s competition regulator said the firm must start paying media groups for displaying their content , ordering it to begin negotiations after refusing for months to comply with Europe ’ s new digital copyright law .
And earlier this month, Google rejected an Australian ruling that it pay hundreds of millions of dollars per year in compensation to local news media under a government -imposed revenue-sharing deal .