The Australian government has said it will soon come up with a law to make Facebook and Google share advertising revenue with local media groups. If the law is passed, it will make Australia the first country in the world where internet companies will have to pay media groups for the content they share.
According to Reuters, Australia’s Treasurer Joshua Frydenberg said on Monday that country’s competition watchdog, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), has been asked to come up with a mandatory code of conduct for media outlets and digital platforms like Facebook and Google. The draft code is likely to be ready by July.
Chairman of ACCC, Rod Sims, reportedly told the Australian Broadcasting Competition that the “problem is that some of that information they are providing consumers for free has come from people who have invested a lot of money in journalism and the case of media to provide that content”.
The announcement by Frydenberg comes nearly 10 days after the French competition regulator demanded that Google start paying media houses for sharing their content, as its practices had caused serious harm to the press sector.
The French regulator had asked in an order on April 9 to “negotiate with publishers and news agencies the remuneration due to them under the law relating to neighbouring rights for the re-use of their protected contents”. However, it was an interim decision, and the regulator is yet to decide if Google has actually breached competition rules of France.
The French competition regulator had said in its order that “Google’s practices caused a serious and immediate harm to the press sector, while the economic situation of publishers and news agencies is otherwise fragile, and while the law aimed on the contrary at improving the conditions of remuneration they derive from content produced by journalists”.
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