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By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Google has postponed the Australian roll-out of News Showcase citing regulatory complications, just three months after announcing the product, as the U.S. internet giant grapples with one of the most audacious attempts to police its activities.

After naming Australia, Germany and Brazil as markets where it would start paying publishers to feature their news, the Alphabet Inc <GOOGL.O> unit dropped Australia from the product’s launch this week because its antitrust body has since pushed for laws forcing Google to pay royalties for content industry-wide.

Google said it has therefore “paused” contracts with five local publishers whose news was due to feature on News Showcase, which presents content on swipeable cards it dubs story panels.

“As we work to understand the impacts of the news media bargaining code on partnerships and products, we have put this project on pause for now,” Google’s managing director for

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