Google, the US internet giant, announced last week that it has reached agreement with six French newspapers and magazines over copyright payments and that talks with other media groups are continuing with the aim of reaching a “framework agreement” by the end of the year.

Signatories to the deal include top national dailies Le Monde, Le Figaro and Liberation as well as magazines L’Express, L’Obs and Courrier International.

The announcement follows months of haggling between Google, French publishers and news agencies over the distribution of revenues from the display of news in search results, Reuters reported.

Google had resisted paying French publishers for the content, arguing that their websites benefitted from increased traffic via Google.

But a new European copyright rule, which France was the first in the EU to enact, allowed publishers to demand a fee from online platforms for showing extracts of their news.

Sebastien Missoffe, manager director of Google France, said that, under the terms of the new deal, payments to publishers would be based on a set of criteria, including daily publication volumes, monthly internet traffic and “the publisher’s contribution to political and general information”.

He added that Google has already invested around €85m ($100m) since 2013 to help media companies in France to adapt to the shift to digital platforms.

Google also announced plans last month to invest $1bn in partnerships with news organisations. Dubbed Google News Showcase, the new tool builds on the company’s existing licensing program, which pays selected publishers to include their stories in Google News and Search.

But among the 200 news outlets that have signed up to the initiative worldwide, none so far have come from France.

Sourced from Reuters; additional content from WARC