Australia to Have Facebook & Google Pay Media Outlets for News Content

08 December 2020

    Australia has finalized its plans to make Facebook and Google pay its media outlets for news content - a move intended to protect independent journalism.

     

    Under new laws, Big Tech firms must negotiate with local publishers and broadcasters how much they pay for content that appears on their platforms. If they can't reach agreement, a government-appointed arbitrator will decide for them.

     

    "This is a huge reform, this is a world first, and the world is watching what happens here in Australia. Our legislation will help ensure that the rules of the digital world mirror the rules of the physical world ... and ultimately sustain our media landscape“, treasurer Josh Frydenberg commented.

     

    The law amounts to the strongest check of the tech giants' market power globally. Facebook Australia managing director - Will Easton said the company would review the legislation and "engage through the upcoming parliamentary process with the goal of landing on a workable framework to support Australia's news ecosystem". Google declined to comment, saying the company had yet to see the final version of the proposed law.

     

    Until recently, most countries have ignored how advertisers redirect spending to the two tech giants, depriving newsrooms of their main revenue source and bringing widespread shutdowns and job losses, but it appears Australia’s move could cause an uprise of independent journalism protection in other countries. 


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