Australia news media 'large and small' discuss Google deals
Feb 17 2021
The company disclosed that just 4% of the content in Australian users' feeds was news, though the platform did not break out other engagement metrics tied to news consumption.
The Australian federal government has said it still plans to put the laws - which effectively force Google and social media giant Facebook to strike deals with media companies or have fees set for them - to a vote in the coming weeks.
According to the bill's explanatory memorandum, digital platforms must give media companies 14 days' notice of algorithm changes "likely to have a significant effect on the referral traffic to. new content".
The announcement comes amid renewed tensions in Australia - the home country of News Corp's founding family, the Murdochs - as lawmakers are finalizing new rules that will require Google and Facebook to pay local newspapers.
Details are few, but the recent moves by Australia and other countries provide a sense of where Mr. Guilbeault is going.
"I've had numerous conversations with Australia [and] the Australian regulator that would be responsible [for] the media portion of the conversation", Mr. Guilbeault said. He described the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission as a combination of Canada's broadcast regulator - the CRTC - and its Competition Bureau.
Australia also has an eSafety Commissioner, an office that can hear complaints about issues such as cyberbullying or requests to remove intimate images from online platforms and has the authority to impose financial penalties.
In recent months, Mr. Guilbeault has had discussions with officials in France, Finland, Germany, the European Union and Britain to discuss their approaches to regulating the internet.
Google recently threatened to leave Australia after the country proposed a new law that mandates tech giants like Google to pay media outlets in the country for using their contents. The company has reached pay deals with more than 450 publications globally since it launched News Showcase in October. This could be seen as the CEO recanting his earlier statement last month where he told a parliamentary hearing that Google would pull its search engine from Australia if the so-called News Media Bargaining Code became law. However, the publisher says that the arrangement will include "the development of a subscription platform, the sharing of ad revenue via Google's ad technology services, the cultivation of audio journalism and meaningful investments in innovative video journalism by YouTube".
Facebook said the law fundamentally misunderstood the relationship between their platform and publishers who use it to share news content.
"This allows the government to claim victory, while the damage to Google will be limited".