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PARIS: Google plans to invest $1 billion in partnerships with news publishers worldwide to develop a "Showcase" app to highlight their reporting packages, chief executive Sundar Pichai said Thursday.

"This financial commitment -- our biggest to date -- will pay publishers to create and curate high-quality content for a different kind of online news experience," Pichai said in a statement.

Google has locked horns with publishers repeatedly in recent years over its reluctance to pay for displaying articles, videos and other content in its search results, which has become a vital path for reaching viewers as print subscriptions fade.

It is currently in a standoff with several European media groups, including Agence France-Presse, over its refusal to comply with a new EU law governing digital copyrights.

The US giant says it should not have to pay to display pictures, videos or text snippets alongside search results, arguing it drives hundreds of millions of visits to publishers' websites each month. It also points to millions of euros invested to support media groups in other ways, including emergency funding during the Covid-19 crisis.