The Treasurer of Australia has ordered Watchdog to design a code of conduct for Facebook and Google that would mandate them to pay for the content they use from Australian-based media agencies.
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission was working together to compose the voluntary code of conduct. However, they’re apprehensive and feel that it would be “unlikely” to attain an agreement from tech giants.
Basically, the ACCC was working on its recommendations from it’s 2019 digital platform inquiry. The report indicated that apart from the obvious privacy concerns, Google and Facebook were also guilty of taking a large share of online advertising revenue.
As a result, the report forced the media agencies to negotiate their terms and conditions with the tech giants and revise methods of payment for their content. According to ABC, the new code that the ACCC is formulating now includes penalties and defines what content can and can’t be used.
“It’s only fair that those that generate content get paid for it.” - said Frydenberg
Due to the pandemic, Australian news papers and media outlets have been struck with the economic downturn. Hence, because of the major decline in advertising revenue, many digital agencies in Australia have asked their staff to take pay cuts.
“COVID-19 has impacted every business and industry across the country, including publishers, which is why we announced a new, global investment to support news organizations at a time when advertising revenue is declining. We believe that strong innovation and more transparency around the distribution of news content is critical to building a sustainable news ecosystem.” – said Will Easton, the Managing Director of Facebook Australia, and New Zealand.
“We have sought to work constructively with industry, the ACCC and government to develop a Code of Conduct, and we will continue to do so in the revised process set out by the government today.” – said the spokesperson for Google.