Australia to make Facebook and Google pay for news for the first time in history

By Colin Packham SYDNEY, Jul 31 (Reuters) – Australia will force US tech giants Facebook Inc and Google to pay Australian media outlets for news content in a move that sets a historical precedent in protecting independent journalism. Australia will become the first country to require Facebook and Google (a subsidiary of the listed group Alphabet Inc) to pay for the content of news provided by media companies under a rights system that will become law this year, said Australian Finance Minister Josh Frydenberg. “This is a fair bet for Australian media companies. It is about ensuring that we have better competition, better consumer protection and a sustainable media landscape,” said Frydenberg. journalists in Melbourne: “The future of the Australian media landscape is at stake no less.” It comes at a time when tech giants are facing calls around the world for more regulation, and a day after Google and Facebook received angry criticism for alleged abuse of market power in a congressional committee on United States – Following an investigation into the state of the media market and the power of American platforms, late last year the Australian government told Facebook and Google to negotiate a voluntary agreement with media companies to use their content. Those conversations went nowhere and Canberra now says that if an agreement cannot be reached through arbitration within 45 days, the Australian Communications and Media Authority would establish legally binding terms on behalf of the Government .Google said the regulation ignores the “billions of clicks” it sends to Australian news publishers every year. “E It sends a worrying message to companies and investors that the Australian government will step in rather than let the market work, “Mel Silva, CEO of Google Australia and New Zealand, said in a statement.” It does nothing to solve the challenges. fundamentals of creating a business model suitable for the digital age. “Facebook did not immediately respond to a request for comment.” UNFAIR AND HARMFUL “Media companies, including News Corp Australia, a subsidiary of News Corp, Rupert Murdoch group intensively lobbied the government to bring US companies to the negotiating table in the face of the prolonged drop in advertising revenue. “While other countries speak of the unfair and damaging behavior of technology giants, the Australian government … (is) taking unprecedented action around the world, “News Corp Australia Chief Executive Michael Miller said in a statement. A real study hoisted in 2019 estimated that in Australia about 3,000 jobs have been lost in the field of journalism in the last 10 years, while traditional media companies lose advertising revenue to the benefit of Google and Facebook, which pay nothing for news content. For every Australian $ 100 spent on online advertising in Australia, excluding word ads, nearly a third goes to Google and Facebook, according to Frydenberg. Other countries have been trying unsuccessfully to force digital giants to give His arm to twist. Large publishing groups in Germany, France and Spain have lobbied for national copyright laws to be passed that force Google to pay when it publishes snippets of its news. In 2019, Google stopped showing snippets of news stories from European media in the search results of its French users, while Germany’s largest news publisher Axel Springer pe He allowed the search engine to publish snippets of his articles after user traffic on his website plummeted. ($ 1 = 1.3887 Australian dollars) (Information from Colin Packham; edited by Stephen Coates; translated by Andrea Ariet in Gdansk)