Australian Government set to make Google and Facebook pay
The Australian government has announced that it will amend draft laws to make tech giants Google and Facebook pay for news to clarify that publishers would be paid in lump sums rather than per click on news article links.
The code aims to remove the digital giants' dominant bargaining positions but creating an arbitration panel with the power to make legally binding decisions on price. Apart from stating that arbitrated payments to publishers must be made in lump sums, the new amendments also clarify that the panel must consider costs incurred by the platforms and by the news businesses.
Australia Institute's Center for Responsible Technology, a think-tank that supports the proposed world-first legislation, accepted the proposed changes.
According to Josh Frydenberg, Australian Treasurer, "This legislation, this world-leading mandatory code, is bringing the parties to the table. We have held the line and held it strongly."
Condemning the bill as unworkable, Google has threatened to make its search engine unavailable in Australia if the code were introduced. Facebook on the other hand has threatened to block Australians from sharing news if Facebook was forced to pay for news.
Nine rival Seven West Media announced that it had signed a deal with Google for AUD 30 million (roughly Rs. 170 crores) a year.
Alphabet Inc. owned Google has agreed to pay Nine Entertainment more than AUD 30 million (roughly Rs. 170 crores) a year for its content after both the companies inked a deal for journalism. Nine Entertainment would be the second major Australian media company to reach an agreement with Google just as the country's Parliament prepares to pass laws giving the government power to set Google's content fees.
All across the globe, media outlets are trying to find a way to compensate for a slump in advertising revenue, traditionally their main source of income, which has resulted in widespread closures.