Guardian Australia signed a multiyear deal with Google over the weekend to include the title’s articles in the tech giant’s News Showcase product. 

The 11th-hour deal comes just days before a Senate debate on the News Media Bargaining Code that caused Facebook to pull news content from Australian users.

Google too, said it would consider pulling out of the local market because of the code, which potentially forces the two platform giants into arbitration with publishers. But the search and advertising giant instead signed a flurry of deals with Australian publishers to avoid it.

News Showcase is a licencing program where Google pays news publishers to curate their content to be used across Google’s services. Publishers negotiate individual deals with Google – which says it has budgeted $3.3 billion globally for Showcase but has declined to say how much it expects to go to Australian publishers.

On Saturday Guardian Australia reported its multiyear deal with Google. It follows Seven, Nine and Newscorp, as well as Showcase launch partners The Canberra Times, The Illawarra Mercury, The Saturday Paper, Crikey, The New Daily,  InDaily and The Conversation. 

Google says it now has 50 titles signed on in Australia and over 500 globally. 

Guardian Australia editor Lenore Taylor said, “We are pleased to have reached this agreement with Google because it will allow us to break more stories, provide more independent Australian journalism and reach more readers.”

Guardian Australia appears to have negotiated specific oversight requirements into its deal, reporting it “will be able to control when and what Guardian stories are presented to readers in Showcase, and will have more control over how stories are presented in story panels in Google News”.

Guardian Australia’s managing director, Dan Stinton, previously told the Senate inquiry into the controversial News Media Bargaining Code the proposed media laws had put pressure on the tech giants to negotiate with Australian publishers.

In a statement, Stinton thanked the government and regulator for their scrutiny of digital platforms and the development of the code.

“We welcome the partnership with Google which recognises the benefits that Guardian journalism delivers and look forward to working with them to make this deal a success,” he said.

“We also congratulate the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and the Australian government on the development of the digital platforms and news media bargaining code, with this world-leading legislation providing the necessary regulatory environment to secure fair commercial deals that will sustain Australian journalism into the future.”

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