In an interview with the new channel CNBC, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg informed about the new media law of the country which is “pretty protracted and difficult”. However, both sides have finally succeeded to resolve their differences.
In the last week, the Australian parliament has passed the law which needs companies such as Facebook and Google to pay media outlets and publishers towards linking their content on the news feed or else in the search result.
Before the law passed, Facebook was in retaliation against the proposed bill for which the Australian users were blocked from viewing and sharing the news content. The government of Australia criticized the move to which Facebook later reversed as soon as both reached an agreement.
On Wednesday, Frydenberg informed CNBC, “Well, there were challenging negotiations,”
He also added, “Obviously with Facebook, we were deeply disappointed by their actions to wipe Australian news off their site … But since that time, we got on the phone, we worked through our differences and we reached, I think, a mutually agreeable position.”
However, the outcome of this negotiation was found in the Australian government’s last-minute changes in the proposed law. Before the law was passed it was officially known as the News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code.
Frydenberg mentioned, “Facebook is now entering into good faith negotiations with the Australian news media business.” Also, he explained about the letter of intent signed by Seven West Media. This owns broadcast network Seven to run news content to Facebook.
Treasurer mentioned, “Things are moving in the right direction, although this has been a pretty protracted and difficult set of negotiations.”
Often Facebook’s response to the media code is compared with Google’s reaction. However, Google even pushed back strongly threatened to pull out its search function from the country. On the other hand, the company has eventually caved in and cut deals with media outlets that involve Seven West Media along with the Murdoch family-owned New Crop.
Frydenberg mentioned that undoubtedly the other countries are watching developments related to Australia’s new media law.
At the time of the law-making, Australia is the first country in which the government-appointed arbitrator decided on the final price that the digital platforms need to pay new publishers. Also, the commercial deal can’t be reached independently.
Moreover, the countries like France took necessary measures to make tech firms pay for news, whereas Canada and the U.K. ate contemplating their next steps.