ACCC may authorise media group talks with Google and Facebook

Facebook and Google versus Australia

Australia’s competition watchdog has said it issued draft proposals to authorise regional newspaper industry group, Country Press Australia, to negotiate with Google and Facebook for payments for news content on their platforms.

Country Press Australia (CPA) is seeking authorisation to allow its members to hammer out a payments deal with the likes of Google and Facebook for use of news content on the tech platforms, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) said.

CPA represents 81 news publishers that publish about 160 regional newspapers across the country.

“Allowing the publishers of 160 newspapers to collectively negotiate with Google and Facebook should help address some of the considerable bargaining power imbalance that exists between the digital giants and these local news outlets,” ACCC Chairman Rod Sims said in a statement.

The proposed authorisation, which would expire after 10 years, follows an interim authorisation granted by the ACCC to CPA in April to commence the negotiations.

Earlier this year, Australia passed a law that mandated the giant US tech platforms to pay publishing companies for news content on their platforms.

We at Platform Executive believe that Google and Facebook should indeed be supporting the content creators more than they do. Instead of merely supporting the largest of publishers who can (and will) litigate to protect their failure; they should be supporting independent media too. Not financially, but instead by levelling the playing field for new publishers. Enabling them to compete on the platforms, which are now totally dominant in the marketplace. For example, Platform Executive have been accepted as a publisher on Google News, yet like hundreds of other new publishers, you are unlikely to find our articles within the news section; as legacy publishers are given priority. A warping of the ecosystem and protection of the status quo.

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The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘ACCC may authorise media group talks with Google and Facebook‘ article. Automatic translation from English to a growing list of languages via Google AI Cloud Translation. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru. Editing by Stephen Coates

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