Sundar Pichai Says Google will Pursue Licensing Deals with Indian Publishers

Google has signed licensing deals with 300 news publishers in Europe including Germany, Hungary, France and Netherlands

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Google plans to strike several licensing deals with publishers across the world and is working towards having discussions with Indian publishers as well. This was announced by Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai.

Google

"Google is "working towards striking some of these conversations" in India as well," he was quoted as saying on Wednesday.

Google has signed licensing deals with 300 news publishers in Europe including Germany, Hungary, France and Netherlands. Moreover, last year, the company announced a package of investments to support India's news ecosystem, including launching Google News Showcase - its new product experience for readers and licensing program for news publishers.

Since Google News Showcase was launched in India last year, it has signed deals with more than 80 partners representing more than 130 publications, including national, regional and local news organizations.

Pichai thus spoke about the crucial role news plays in India and its diversity as the news media works in so many languages in the country. "These things take time and so we are working through some of those conversations," Pichai said. Google has also expanded its Google News Showcase programme, launched in May last year, to 130 publications in India.

What India Means to Google

Pichai also said that India is incredibly important to Google and he hoped to participate in the proper legislative dialogue to address the Indian government's rethink over immunity accorded to social media firms for content on their platforms.

"We are deeply committed to the Indian economy and the digitalization of India's economy. We have announced a $10 billion India Development Fund and, and so will continue to play a role constructively there," Pichai was quoted as saying.

In the last few years, Google has invested in Indian companies including $4.5 billion in Reliance Jio for a 7.73 per cent stake and up to $1 billion in Bharti Airtel for a 1.28 per cent stake. Google has also invested in Indian startups such as Dunzo, Glance, Open, Wysa, and others, not just the large companies.

In July 2020, the tech giant announced its plans to invest $10 billion in India over the next 5-7 years through equity investments, partnerships and other arrangements to "accelerate digitization" in the country.

It had said that the fund would focus on areas such as enabling affordable access to the Internet and to information for every Indian in their own language; building new products and services in segments like consumer tech, education, health and agriculture; empowering businesses, especially small and medium ones, to transform digitally; leveraging technology and artificial intelligence for digital literacy, outbreak predictions and support for rural economies.