Australian lawmakers expected to pass amendments to Facebook, Google law

Some politicians are concerned the change allows Frydenberg to exempt Facebook or Google from the new laws even if they do not strike deals with all media companies. "This changes the bill significantly," independent senator Rex Patrick, who plans to vote against the amended bill, told Reuters.

Reuters | Canberra | Updated: 24-02-2021 11:19 IST | Created: 24-02-2021 08:19 IST
Australian lawmakers expected to pass amendments to Facebook, Google law
Image Credit: Flickr

Australian lawmakers are expected to approve amendments to landmark legislation to force Alphabet's Google and Facebook to pay media companies for news content, despite opposition from some minor political parties.

The government introduced amendments to the so-called Media Bargaining Code after Facebook last week escalated a dispute over the new laws by blocking Australian users from sharing and viewing news content on its popular social media platform. Australia's Senate began debating the amendments on Wednesday. The ruling conservative Liberal Party does not have a majority in the upper house, but support from the opposition Labor Party is expected to be enough to pass the bill.

Facebook on Tuesday said it would restore Australian users' access to news in light of the compromise it had reached with the government. In one major change, Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will be given the discretion to decide that either Facebook or Google need not be subject to the code if they make a "significant contribution to the sustainability of the Australian news industry."

The original legislation had required the tech giants to submit to forced arbitration if they could not reach a commercial deal with Australian news companies for their content, effectively allowing the government to set a price. Some politicians are concerned the change allows Frydenberg to exempt Facebook or Google from the new laws even if they do not strike deals with all media companies.

"This changes the bill significantly," independent senator Rex Patrick, who plans to vote against the amended bill, told Reuters. "The big players could successfully negotiate with Facebook or Google. The minister then doesn't designate them, and all the little players miss out."

Frydenberg has said he will give Facebook and Google time to strike deals with Australian media companies before deciding whether to enforce his new powers.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Why unequal access to coronavirus vaccines is a threat to us all

... ...

India’s love affair with fossil fuels: the path to sustainable development?

... ...

Videos

Latest News

Royal Enfield sales up 10 pc in February at 69,659 units

Motorcycle maker Royal Enfield on Monday reported a 10 per cent increase in total sales at 69,659 units in February.The company had sold 63,536 units in the same month last year, Royal Enfield said in a statement.Domestic sales last month w...

Bring old photos alive with new AI 'Deep Nostalgia'

An AI-powered service called Deep Nostalgia that animates still photos has captured the attention of Twitterati as people are attempting to create the creepiest fake video possible using old pictures. According to The Verge, the Deep Nostal...

Science News Roundup: Russian scientists say Sputnik V performs well against COVID mutations; Archaeologists uncover ancient ceremonial carriage near Pompeii and more

Following is a summary of current science news briefs.Archaeologists uncover ancient ceremonial carriage near PompeiiArchaeologists have unearthed a unique ancient-Roman ceremonial carriage from a villa just outside Pompeii, the city buried...

Two years of 'Sonchiriya': Bhumi Pednekar remembers Sushant Singh Rajput

Actor Bhumi Pednekar on Monday marked two years of her Western drama Sonchiriya and said the film will be remembered for generations for her co-star Sushant Singh Rajputs performance.Helmed by Abhishek Chaubey and co-written by Sudip Sharma...

Give Feedback