The Australian government said on Tuesday that the draft laws would be amended to make it clear that Google and Facebook would pay publishers for the news a lump sum instead of per click on the news link. A government statement described these legislative changes as ‘clarification and technical amendments’. Earlier, Australian ministers held discussions with Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Mark Zuckerberg and Alphabet Inc and CEO of Google’s subsidiary Sundar Pichai last weekend.
Australia’s Conservative government is hoping to implement the ‘News Media Bargaining Code’ (News Media Bargaining Code) before the current session of Parliament ends on 25 February. Finance Minister Josh Friedenberg and Communications Minister Paul Fletcher said in a joint statement, the amendment will be tabled in Parliament on Wednesday, which aims to improve its implementation while retaining the full effect of the Code.
The opposition Middle-Left-minded Labor Party agreed on Tuesday to support the bill, paving the way for it to be passed in the Senate. But the government may have to accept the suggestion of some amendments in the Senate. Indeed, the ruling party does not have a majority in the Senate.
Google and Facebook, which have an 81 percent stake in online advertising in Australia, have condemned the bill. Google has threatened that if this bill is introduced, its (Google’s) search engine will be unavailable in Australia. Facebook has also threatened that Australians will be barred from sharing the news if they are forced to pay for the news.
The legislation aims to break the dominance of digital giant bargaining and become an arbitration committee that has the authority to pass a legally binding ruling on the price. The committee will usually accept the best offer from the digital platform or publisher And seldom will determine the price between them. This will prevent the digital platform and media business from making unrealistic demands. In addition to the lump sum payment made to the publishers for the arbitration, the new amendments will also make it clear that the committee will also consider the costs of digital forums and the news business.