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Here's what's going on between Google, Facebook and Australia
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For two decades, global news outlets have complained internet companies are getting rich at their expense, selling advertising linked to their reports without sharing revenue.
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Now, Australia is joining France and other governments in pushing Google, Facebook and other internet giants to pay. That might channel more money to a news industry that is cutting coverage as revenue shrinks. But it also sets up a clash with some of the tech industry’s biggest names.
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Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., has announced agreements to pay publishers in Australia while Facebook said Thursday it has blocked users in the country from viewing or sharing news.
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN AUSTRALIA?
Facing a proposed law to compel internet companies to pay news organizations, Google has announced deals with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. and Seven West Media. No financial details were released. The Australian Broadcasting Corp. is in negotiations.
Google accounts for 53% percent of Australian online advertising revenue and Facebook 23%, according to Treasurer Josh Frydenberg.
Google had threatened to make its search engine unavailable in Australia in response to the legislation, which would create a panel to make pricing decisions on news.
On Thursday, Facebook responded by blocking users from accessing and sharing Australian news.
Facebook said the proposed law “ignores the realities” of its relationship with publishers that use its service to “share news content.” That was despite Frydenberg saying this week Google and Facebook “do want to enter into these commercial arrangements.”
WHAT IS HAPPENING IN OTHER COUNTRIES?
Australia’s proposed law would be the first of its kind, but other governments also are pressuring Google, Facebook and other internet companies to pay news outlets and other publishers for material.
In Europe, Google had to negotiate with French publishers after a court last year upheld an order saying such agreements were required by a 2019 European Union copyright directive.