Google Removes Australia From “News Showcase” Launch

Google has postponed the Australian roll-out of News Showcase citing regulatory complications, just three months after announcing the product, as the US internet giant grapples with one of the most audacious attempts to police its activities, reported Reuters.

After naming Australia, Germany, and Brazil as markets where it would start paying publishers to feature their news, the Alphabet unit dropped Australia from the product’s launch this week because its antitrust body has since pushed for laws forcing Google to pay royalties for content industry-wide.

Google stated it has therefore “paused” contracts with five local publishers whose news was due to feature on News Showcase, which presents content on swipeable cards it dubs story panels.

“As we work to understand the impacts of the news media bargaining code on partnerships and products, we have put this project on pause for now,” Google’s managing director for Australia and New Zealand, Mel Silva, told Reuters in an email.

“Although our concerns about the code are serious, we hope they can be resolved so we can bring News Showcase to Australia soon,” Silva wrote.

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.