Australia and Facebook have been having a tough time on some issues regarding Facebook’s operation in Australia. As a result, Facebook had to ban Australian users from viewing or sharing news on Facebook. However, the two parties have been in negotiations and the ban will soon be over. However, the Australian Parliament has now passed a new law that forces digital giants such as Facebook and Google to pay local publishers for news content.
This is the first country to pass such a law officially. According to the Australian government, the new law will ensure that “content produced by news media companies can be fairly rewarded”. He said: “This law is a major microeconomic reform. This reform has attracted the attention of the world. Countries are watching the Australian Parliament’s approach.”
Australia’s move may trigger a round of knock-on effects on a global scale. It will probably cause more governments to adopt similar regulatory measures. This will in turn limit the power of large digital companies.
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At present, governments in many countries are struggling to cope with the dominance of Facebook and Google in the online advertising field. Australian Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, said he has discussed the new law with the leaders of India, Canada, France, and the United Kingdom.
Previously, Google and Facebook, the two technology giants, had negotiated with Australia, hoping to obtain preferential policies.
Google and Facebook are already negotiating with news firms
Google actually considered shutting down its search engine services in Australia. However, this was not the best option for the company. It has since commenced negotiations with Australian news firms. Facebook also banned Australian users from viewing or sharing news on its platform. However, after an 11-hour meeting with Facebook’s CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, the Australian government agreed to amend the legislation. Facebook has now agreed to lift the ban.
Google has previously reached an independent agreement to pay news fees to a series of Australian publishers, including News Corporation, and Facebook is currently doing the same. Friedenberg said: “The government is pleased to see Google and Facebook have made progress in reaching commercial arrangements with Australian news media companies.”
In its initial negotiation with Australia’s biggest publishers, Google cut a deal of over $47 million per year. However, after further reviews, the official signing of commercial contracts is worth about $23 million per year. News firms in Australia like Nine Entertainment, Seven West, and others will have their individual agreements.