Google Is Suddenly Paying for News in Australia. What About Everywhere Else?
Josh Friedenberg, who has a heavy conscience on the new law as federal treasurer, has his own media connections. In 2016 he was The best man at Ryan Stokes weddingThe son of Carey Stokes, the billionaire owner of Seven West Media, one of the companies that reached a deal with Google.
In short, it is no surprise that the Australian government looks at US tech companies that have not done any favors by themselves Trying to overcome Local taxes are less worthy of support than the major national media.
“We talk about this bizarre symbiotic talk between the news business and the government of the day,” said Jim Minify, an economist with Lateral Economics, a consulting firm that specializes in digital public policy. “There is a more natural alliance between the central-government and the news that affects things.”
The law that is being considered also includes a code of conduct that will allow media companies, individually or collectively, to negotiate the value of their news content with digital platforms. The code aims to address the “bargaining power imbalance” between the two parties, partly by forcing disputes into a final arbitration process. This will only apply to Facebook and Google at first, although other digital platforms can be added.
Inside Google’s Australia offices, almost everything about the law is disappointing; The process has often been described as a shakedown led by powerful insiders, as if Google were a sensitive start-up. The disappointment goes both ways, with some Australian politicians calling for the country to leave rather than blackmail the threat.
But the Communications Minister, Paul Fletcher, said that Sturm und Drang ignored the fact that the process Started more than three years ago. The proposed code, which was originally designed to be voluntary, has evolved to become mandatory and difficult, he said, because giant platforms require close attention to the value of reliable information from established outlets.