Australia to force Google, Facebook to pay domestic media to use content

(20 Apr 2020)  Australia will force Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google to share advertising revenue with local media firms, the country’s treasurer said on Monday, becoming one of the first countries to require digital platforms to pay for content they use.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said the move comes after talks with Facebook and Alphabet failed to yield a voluntary code to address complaints by domestic media players that the tech giants have too tight a grip on advertising, their main source of income.

“We understand the challenge that we face, this is a big mountain to climb,” Frydenberg told reporters in Canberra. “These are big companies that we are dealing with but there is also so much at stake, so we’re prepared for this fight.”

The government has now asked the country’s competition watchdog, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to frame a mandatory code of conduct between media outlets and digital platforms after talks stalled on content payment rules.

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