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Australia: New mandatory code to address commercial relationship between digital platforms and media companies

22.04.2020
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The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is developing a mandatory code “to address bargaining power imbalances between digital platforms and media companies”, it was announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in a joint press release with Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher.

Australia would be the one of the first countries to force digital platforms like Facebook and Google to pay for content. The code goes further than arrangements made by the competition watchdog in France for Google to pay for news content shown in search results.

The code would help Australian media companies regain some of their bargaining power and receive payment for their content that digital giants use. Treasurer Josh Frydenburg commented, “It’s only fair that those that generate content get paid for it.”

The new regulatory framework has arisen from Australia’s recent Digital Platforms Inquiry, which examined the impact of digital platforms on the supply of news and journalist content.

In response, the government has instructed the ACCC, “to develop a mandatory code to address commercial arrangements between digital platforms and news media businesses”.

‘Mandatory’ became the preferred option after there was little progress made towards a voluntary code, with the ACCC finding it “unlikely that any voluntary agreement would be reached with respect to the key issue of payment for content.”

The ACCC will work on a draft mandatory code to be released before the end of July 2020. Elements will include, “the sharing of data, ranking and display of news content and the monetisation and the sharing of revenue generated from news.”

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is developing a mandatory code “to address bargaining power imbalances between digital platforms and media companies”, it was announced by Treasurer Josh Frydenberg in a joint press release with Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, Paul Fletcher.

Theme:
Content: innovation, regulation and markets
Region:
Asia Pacific
Chapter:
Australia
Series:
Regulatory Watch
digital platforms, media
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