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Alphabet's Google in Talks to Pay Publishers Licensing Fees for Content

Most of the publishers in talks with Google are outside the U.S., a report says.
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Alphabet’s  (GOOGL)  Google is in talks with publishers about paying licensing fees for their content and putting that content in a premium news product, sources told The Wall Street Journal.

The talks are still in the early stages and it was still unclear whether an actual agreement will be reached. The Journal reported that Google was mostly negotiating with publishers that are outside the U.S., including France and Europe.

Publishers, including news organizations, have long been at odds with aggregators like Google News and Facebook  (FB)  over the lack of compensation they receive from those services even though the content helps keep eyeballs on those companies’ websites.

Google is following Facebook’s lead in reaching out to publishers.

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Last year, Facebook unveiled Facebook News, a tab on the company’s app that is entirely dedicated to news.

The new initiative involved cutting deals with several "trusted" news publishers, including The New York Times, the Journal, The Washington Post, BuzzFeed and Business Insider, that will publish some of their content within the tab, and in some cases remove a paywall if they have one.

The idea is to give "people more control over the stories they see, and the ability to explore a wider range of their news interests, directly within the Facebook app," in addition to highlighting the most relevant stories of the day, said Campbell Brown, who heads up the project, in a blog post.

Alphabet shares were rising 0.2% to $1,516 in trading Friday. 

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