San Francisco (AFP)

Google will pay partner press publishers in Germany, Australia and Brazil and offer certain users free access to paid news sites, the American internet giant announced on Thursday.

This announcement comes after battles waged in particular by press publishers in France and Australia against the refusal of the search engine to pay for their content.

In a blog post, Google said it would launch "a licensing program to pay publishers for high-quality content for a new information experience", which is expected to start later this year.

Brad Bender, vice president of product management at Google, said his group had been in talks for several months with partner publishers - including the Spiegel group in Germany and Diarios Associados in Brazil - and that further discussions were " to come up".

Three Australian media (Schwartz Media, The Conversation, Solstice Media) are also among the partners involved in the discussions, according to ABC.

"Google also offers to finance free access for users to paid articles on a publisher's site," said the American giant, without giving more details.

Bender said the program would help publishers "monetize their content through a better storytelling experience". He added that he would build on the 2018 Google News Initiative, a $ 300 million project that aims to combat online disinformation and help news sites grow financially.

Internet giants, including Google, are increasingly under pressure to pay for content from press publishers.

On April 9, Google had lost a round against French press organizations, including AFP, who accuse it of flouting the new European legislation known as "neighboring rights", supposed to promote better sharing of digital revenues.

The French Competition Authority had ordered Google to negotiate "in good faith" with publishers and press agencies in France on the remuneration associated with the display of their content protected by neighboring rights. She gave the group three months to "effectively" offer remuneration to publishers or agencies wishing to negotiate.

Australia announced in April that it plans to force Google, Facebook and other digital giants to share advertising revenue from news content picked up by their sites.

The Australian competition authority is preparing proposals along these lines.

But Google opposed in early June an unwillingness to the Australian media asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation due to the capture of advertising revenue, claiming that the main part of this revenue was not linked to the websites of information.

© 2020 AFP