Regulation permitted for Google and Fb to pay the press for his or her content material in Australia
The country is setting a precedent for others to follow, forcing tech giants to pay media companies to use their content on the Google News Showcase and Facebook News.
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February 26, 2021 4 min read
This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors can occur due to this process.
This Thursday, the Australian Parliament passed a law for Facebook and Google to pay media companies to use their content. This makes Australia the first country where the government can set the amount the tech giants will pay to the national press, setting a precedent for other nations to follow suit.
“The Code will ensure that media companies receive fair compensation for the content they generate, which will help keep journalism in the public interest,” said Treasurer Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher in a joint statement.
Negotiations to push for regulation escalated when Facebook decided to block all news content for Australian users. The ban also blocked many government and nonprofit sites, including public health officials, from providing reliable information about COVID-19.
After extensive discussions with Mark Zuckerberg, founder and CEO of Facebook, the Australian government agreed to amend the legislation, while the social network promised to release the news.
The mandatory bargaining code for news media and digital platforms was approved by Parliament.
We believe the Code will support a diverse and sustainable news sector of public interest in Australia. #auspol pic.twitter.com/xam4IeV9xr
– Paul Fletcher (@PaulFletcherMP) February 24, 2021
Hence, Google is paying for the news that appears in its new Google News Showcase tool. In the meantime, Facebook will pay for the media appearing in its Fascebook News section that it will be launching in Australia this year. From now on, the two “great technicians” have two months to reach other agreements and avoid binding arbitration proceedings.
Both parties took this as a win-win situation as the Australian government made certain concessions to “Big Tech”. Authorities vowed to consider the private trade agreements that Google and Facebook are entering into with news companies before taking legal action.
There are already agreements between the press and technology giants
Google, owned by Alphabet Inc., said last year that the law would shut down its search engine in Australia when the law went into effect. However, the company relaxed its stance and agreed to pay Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, Australia’s News Corp, for its content.
Nick Clegg, head of public affairs at Facebook, announced that the company would invest “at least” one billion dollars in news content over the next three years. This is on top of the $ 600 million invested in media since 2018.
“The government is pleased with the progress made by Google and, more recently, Facebook in reaching commercial agreements with Australian news agencies,” said Frydenberg. He added that the new law will be reviewed a year after it comes into force to assess whether adjustments are needed.
The new law on payment for journalistic content emerged from research by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). These revealed an imbalance in advertising revenue between tech companies and the media in Australia, a fact that is not unique to that nation.
Several Australian branches, including Seven West Media, Nine Entertainment and Australian Broadcasting Corp, have announced that they are in talks with Facebook.
Countries such as Canada, the UK, France and India are interested in applying similar measures.
The world-leading code of bargaining for the Morrison news administration has just passed parliament.
This is an important milestone.
This legislation will help level the playing field and pay Australian news media companies to produce original content. @PaulFletcherMP pic.twitter.com/33bQbiqeMI
– Josh Frydenberg (@JoshFrydenberg) February 24, 2021