Australia passes law to make Facebook and Google pay for news

Australia passes law to make Facebook and Google pay for news
2 Min Read

Daily US Times: Australia has passed a world-first law aimed at making Facebook and Google pay for news content on their platforms.

The news code legislation had been fiercely opposed by the tech giants.

Facebook blocked all news content to Australians last week, but reversed its decision this week after negotiations with the government.

Following those talks, the law passed with new amendments which make it possible for Google and Facebook not to be subject to the code.

However, both the Google and Facebook have now committed to paying lucrative sums to some big Australian publishers outside of the code. These deals have been widely viewed as a compromise by the US tech giants.

Australia’s law has been seen as a potentials test case for similar regulation in other countries to get payment from giant digital platforms for news.

On Thursday, the amended legislation was passed in the House of Representatives, after earlier going through the Senate.

Facebook and Google argued it “fundamentally” misunderstands how the internet works.

The law incentivises news organisations and tech giants to negotiate payment deals between themselves. If such talks fail, digital platforms could be dragged into independent arbitrations.

The Australian government argues this prescribes a “fairer” negotiation process between the parties, as it gives news organisations more leverage.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) says publishers have had little negotiating power until now because they are so reliant on tech monopolies like Google and Facebook.

You may read: Elon Musk loses world’s richest person title as Tesla falters