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Google, AP reach new deal on licensing

SAN FRANCISCO — Google Inc. will be able to continue posting content from The Associated Press under a new licensing deal the two companies announced Monday after months of sometimes thorny negotiations.

The AP said in a statement that the two companies also will work together in ways to improve discovery and distribution of news.

Financial terms and the duration of the contract were not disclosed.

Google, the Internet’s most profitable company, began to pay for AP content in 2006 after the not-for-profit news agency threatened to sue. That contract expired in January but was extended while the negotiations on a new deal progressed. The talks got so thorny that at one point, Google stopped hosting AP content.

Even after the 2006 agreement, Google and AP still had an uneasy relationship.

AP executives have said they still believed that the news cooperative wasn’t being adequately compensated for its material, partly because Google’s search engine pointed to websites that the AP said had pirated its content.

Google, in turn, insisted that it was simply fulfilling its mission to help its users find pertinent information.

In a possibly conciliatory sign, Google said it intended to help the AP find more ways to make money online while striving to create a better experience for its own users. Neither company provided further details on their plans for cooperation.

Google also has signed contracts with Agence France-Presse, UK Press Association, Canadian Press and other outlets. Under those licensing agreements, Google publishes entire stories from the AP and other outlets in the news section of its website.