Australian lawmakers are expected to approve landmark legislative amendments to force Alphabet’s Google and Facebook to pay media companies for news content, despite opposition from some smaller parties.

After Facebook intensified controversy over the new law by preventing Australian users from sharing and viewing news content on its popular social media platform last week, the government revised its so-called “media trading rules.” The Australian Senate began to debate the amendment on Wednesday. The ruling Conservative Liberal Party does not have a majority in the upper house, but the support of the opposition Labour Party is expected to be sufficient to pass the bill.

Facebook said on Tuesday that in view of the compromise reached with the government, it will restore access to news for Australian users.

In a major change, if Australian Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg (Josh Frydenberg) has made a significant contribution to the sustainable development of Australian journalism, then they will have the right to decide whether Facebook or Google does not need Subject to the code.

The original legislation stipulated that if technology giants cannot enter into commercial transactions with Australian News Corporation on their content, they must accept mandatory arbitration, which effectively allows the government to set prices.

Some politicians worry that this change allows Frydenberg to exempt Facebook or Google’s new laws, even if they have not made deals with all media companies.

Independent Senator Rex Patrick told Reuters, “This will greatly change the bill.” “Large companies can successfully negotiate with Facebook or Google. If the minister does not designate them, all small companies will miss the opportunity. “

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Friedenberg has stated that he will give Facebook and Google time to strike a deal with Australian media companies before deciding whether to enforce his new powers.

Thomson Reuters 2021 ©

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