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Australia amends law to force Google and Facebook to pay – WAVY.com

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Posted by: ROD McGUIRK, Associated Press

Posted: February 16, 2021 / 2:45 am EST / Updated: February 16, 2021 / 3:21 am EST

File – A photo of a woman walking under a Google sign on the Campus in Mountain View, California, September 24, 2019. On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, the Australian government will pay news for Google and Facebook to make it clear that publishers will be paid in one lump sum rather than clicking a link to a news article. (AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, File)

Canberra, Australia (AP) The Australian government announced on Tuesday that it would amend the bill to force Google and Facebook to pay for news, making it clear that the publisher will be paid in one lump sum instead of clicking a link in a news article. ..

The legislative changes described in the government statement as explanations and technical amendments are Facebook CEOs Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet Inc. Following a weekend talk with the Australian Minister of Australia and its subsidiary, Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai.

The conservative government wants to enact a so-called news media negotiation law before the current parliament ends on February 25.

Treasury Secretary Josh Frydenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement that the amendment, which will be introduced to Congress on Wednesday, will improve the feasibility of the code while maintaining overall effectiveness.

The opposition centre-left Labor Party agreed to support the bill at a parliamentary meeting on Tuesday, ensuring that the government would pass the Senate, which has no majority seats. However, the government may have to compromise with further Senate amendments.

The Australian Institute for Responsible Technology Center, a think tank supporting the proposed world’s first law, has accepted the proposed changes.

At face value, the amendments did not compromise the integrity of the media code, Center Director Peter Lewis said in a statement.

After being submitted to Congress on December 9, the Senate Committee, which scrutinized the bill, recommended last week to enact the bill unchanged.

Google and Facebook, which make up 81% of Australia’s online advertising, have accused the bill of being infeasible.

Google threatens to make search engines unavailable in Australia if the code is introduced. Facebook said it could prevent Australians from sharing news if the platform was forced to pay for the news.

This code aims to eliminate the dominant bargaining position of digital giants, but creates an arbitration panel with the authority to make legally binding decisions regarding prices. Panels typically accept either the platform or the publisher’s best offer, and rarely price in the meantime.

It should discourage both the platform and the media business from making unrealistic demands.

In addition to stating that arbitration payments to publishers must be made in one lump sum, the new amendment also makes it clear that the panel must take into account the costs incurred by the platform and news business.

Seven West Media became Australia’s largest news media business on Monday with a deal with Google to pay for journalism. Kerry Stokes, chairman of Seven West Media, which owns 21 publications, said the threat of the proposed code made the deal possible.

The deal was closed under Google’s own model, News Showcase. Since launching the News Showcase in October, the company has paid contracts with over 450 publications worldwide.

Google announced two weeks ago that it started paying for seven much smaller Australian websites under the news showcase.

The Australian Government said: It’s encouraging to see recent reports that the news media business and digital platforms are currently reaching a commercial agreement against the backdrop of the code introduced in Congress.

Google is being forced to pay news by other authorities. Last month, it signed a deal with a group of French publishers, paving the way for the company to pay for digital rights. Under the agreement, Google negotiates a separate license agreement with the newspaper and pays based on factors such as daily issuance and monthly internet site traffic.

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