The Australian Parliament passed landmark legislation on Thursday requiring global digital giants to pay for local news content, a move that has received close attention from the world.
After the last breath of the transaction weakened the binding rules, the law was passed easily, and Facebook and Google strongly opposed it in exchange for the tech giant’s agreement to pay local media companies.
This new law paves the way for Google and Facebook to invest tens of millions of dollars in local content transactions and may become a model for resolving these corporate disputes with global regulators.
Google will now pay for the news content that appears in its “Showcase” product, and Facebook is expected to pay the providers that appear in its “News” product, which will be launched in Australia later this year.
Regulators accuse the companies that dominate online advertising for using their content for free while taking cash away from traditional news organizations.
Large technology companies strongly opposed this legislation from the beginning, fearing that it would threaten their business models.
In particular, these companies oppose rules that mandate negotiations with media companies and give Australian independent arbitrators the right to implement monetary settlements.
The government’s latest amendment has greatly weakened this prospect.
Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg said in a statement: “It is important that the code encourages parties to conduct commercial negotiations outside of the code, and the government is pleased to see Google and most recently Facebook Progress has been made in reaching commercial arrangements with Australian news media companies.”
Google is also eager to avoid setting a precedent that the platform should pay anyone a link fee, which may make its flagship search engine unusable.
Facebook-which does not rely much on news content-initially stated that it was not worth it to be forced to pay for news and shut down access to news content for its Australian users.
The government said the law is known as the “Code of Compulsory Negotiations for News Media and Digital Platforms” and will ensure that news companies “get reasonable remuneration for the content they produce, thereby helping to maintain Australia’s public interest journalism.”
Facebook and Google now have two months to reach a further agreement to avoid binding arbitration.
Google has reached a multi-million dollar deal with local media companies, including two of the largest media: Murdoch’s News Corporation and Jiu Entertainment.
Facebook on Tuesday lifted a national ban on Australian news, launched it to protest the law, and announced the first proposed deal with the Australian media company Seven West.
Both Facebook and Google stated that they will each invest US$1 billion (approximately Rs 72.3 billion) in global news in the next three years.
Critics of the law say it punishes innovative companies and makes money through struggling (but politically connected) traditional media.
Insiders in the technology community believe that this legislation is particularly promoted by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, which dominates the local media landscape and has close ties with the conservative government of Australia. contact.
Nick Clegg, head of global affairs, said on Thursday that the original draft of the law would force Facebook to “pay potentially unlimited amounts to multinational media groups under an arbitration system that deliberately misleads the publisher’s relationship with Facebook. funds”.
In the past decade, Australia alone has lost thousands of journalism jobs and a large amount of news media, as the industry is watching advertising revenue flow to digital players.
According to data from the Australian competition regulator, for every US$100 (approximately Rs 7,230) spent by Australian advertisers today, Google will spend US$49 (approximately Rs 3,550), while Facebook will spend US$24 (approximately Rs 1,730).
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