ACCC Rules Facebook & Google Must Pay Australian Publishers

On July 31, the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission’s (ACCC) released its mandatory News Media Bargaining Code to correct the power imbalance between big tech and news publishers. The Code ensures publishers’ ability to be meaningfully compensated for news content through their negotiations with Google and Facebook that will result in forced arbitration after three months if an acceptable business arrangement cannot be reached. It provides that financial materials must be shared on demand to determine the adequate remuneration and prevents Google or Facebook from removing content as an alternative to payment. The draft Code also requires digital platforms to disclose algorithmic changes and other unilateral decisions that could affect news publishers’ bottom line. The ACCC is accepting comments on the draft Code until late August, after which the Australian Parliament will have to pass the final legislation before the Code can take effect. Read more here.

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