Google Signs News Deal With Italian Publishers

Alphabet’s Google division continues to sign news with publishers around the world for the Google News Showcase scheme.

Reuters has reported that Google has signed its first licence agreements in Italy with several publishers to offer access to some of their content.

Google has been signing content deals around the world since late 2020. Last month it signed a UK deal with News Corp to that it will provide premium content for the Google News Showcase offering, in return for “significant payments” from Google.

News Showcase

Google also signed agreements with local news and content publishers in Australia, after agreeing to restart its News Showcase scheme in that country.

Google also recently agreed to pay $76 million (£55m) to French news publishers under the terms of a deal to end a copyright dispute.

The Google News Showcase scheme was first mooted back in June 2020, as a way to compensate news publishers initially in Australia, Brazil, and Germany for the news they produce.

CEO Sundar Pichai pledged $1 billion (£778m) over three years to the News Showcase scheme.

And now Google News Showcase is expected to launch in Italy in the coming weeks, a media representative for Google in Italy told Reuters.

The Italian deal has been signed with local 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 of the deal were disclosed.

But Reuters reported that the agreement covers 13 Italian editorial companies, giving Google Showcase users access to content from 76 national and local papers.

Other deals

Google has also signed content deals in Germany and Brazil.

“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 Chief Executive Urbano Cairo was quoted as saying in a statement.

RCS said the deal with Google also included the Spanish-language papers owned by the group – El Mundo, Marca and Expansion.

This could potentially pave the way for a resumption of Google’s news service in Spain, which was shut down in 2014 in response to legislation which meant it had to pay a mandatory collective licensing fee to re-publish headlines or snippets of news.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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