The tech giant may admit to making mistakes in cooperating with news outfits, as it launches a new partnership with 8 European publishers within the Digital News Initiative. Some may regard it as an attempt by Google to improve its image in the European Union after being accused of anti-competitive behavior by European regulators a few weeks ago.
Google started a new partnership with 8 publishers in order to establish a working group that would focus on product development. The company will also provide a €150m innovation fund over 3 years, aside from additional training and research. Google believes that this move will increase revenue, traffic and audience engagement. Negotiations with the publishers started last summer.
Some publishers agree that the aim to work on products focusing on adverts, video, apps, data and paid-for journalism will be most effective if rolled out globally. However, they point out that such potential depends on whether Google in Mountain View adopts it after Google in EU conceived it. In other words, they believe that the test of success is whether it would lead to meaningful change to ensure journalism flourishes in the today’s digital age.
The working group of eight publishers comes amid criticism that the tech giant often launches new products, including its recent search optimization changes on mobile websites without too much consultation. For instance, Google chief executive recognized this back in 2014 following the landmark “right-to-be-forgotten” ruling in EU. He said that the company is trying to be more European and thinks about it more from a European context. Larry Page also added that a very significant amount of time would be spent in Europe talking.