Google and Agence France-Presse on Wednesday said they had signed a “pioneering” five-year deal under which the world’s biggest internet search company will pay an undisclosed sum for content in Europe.

The agreement, following 18 months of negotiations, is the first by a news agency under the 2019 European directive on so-called neighbouring rights, at the heart of multiple disputes between web giants and the media overpayment for use of online news and other content.

“This is an agreement that covers the whole of the EU, in all of AFP’s languages, including in countries that have not enacted the directive,” said AFP CEO Fabrice Fries, describing the deal as “pioneering” and the “culmination of a long struggle”.