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Google is suddenly paying for news in Australia. Where else?




Josh Frydenberg, who as federal treasurer would have tremendous discretion over the new legislation, has his connections to the media. In 2016, he was best man at Ryan Stokes wedding, who is the son of Kerry Stokes, billionaire owner of Seven West Media, one of the companies that has reached an agreement with Google.

In short, it is no surprise that the Australian government sees Americas tech companies that have done themselves no favors. trying to bypass local taxes, as less worthy of support than the dominant national media.

Weve got this particular symbiotic thing between the news business and the government of the day, said Jim Minifie, an economist with Lateral Economics, a consulting firm that specializes in digital public policy. There is a more natural alliance between the center-right government and the news that affects things.

The legislation under consideration includes a code of conduct that will allow media companies to shop individually or collectively with digital platforms on the value of their news content. The Code aims to address the imbalances of negotiations between the two parties, in part forcing disputes into a final arbitration process. It would initially apply only to Facebook and Google, though other digital platforms could be added.

Within the offices of Google Australia, almost everything about the law inspires shock; the process has often been described as a destruction led by powerful individuals, as if Google were a vulnerable beginner. Disappointment runs high on both sides, with some Australian politicians calling Google a threat to leave the country for little more than blackmail.

But Paul Fletcher, the communications minister, said Sturm und Drang overlooked the fact that the process started more than three years ago. The proposed code, which was originally created to be voluntary, has evolved to become mandatory and stricter, he said, because that’s what it takes to make giant platforms cost more. pay attention to the value of reliable information from the points placed.

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