In a world first, Australia releases a “media bargaining code” to force Facebook and Google to pay for news

What's New in Publishing 03 Aug 2020 07:00

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has released its draft news media bargaining code, announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.

The draft code allows commercial news businesses to bargain – individually or collectively – with Google and Facebook, in order to be paid for news the tech giants publish on their services.

According to ACCC chair Rod Sims, the code aims to address the bargaining power imbalance between news publishers and major digital platforms, to bring about fair payment for news. As Frydenberg said:

We want Google and Facebook to continue to provide these services to the Australian community which are so much loved and used by Australians. But we want it to be on our terms.

The ACCC has previously found Google and Facebook’s failure to pay for news content is eating into the advertising revenues which fund journalism.

Treasurer John Frydenberg made the announcement in Melbourne. Daniel Pockett/AAP

But what’s ‘news’?

The code is set out as exposure draft legislation and an explanatory memorandum.

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