Facebook has declined to pay Australian news agencies after the Australian government forced them to do so. According to Facebook, they would rather prefer to remove the Australian news content rather than paying money to the news companies in Australia.
As per the statement stated by Facebook, “The amount of content of Australian news contributes a very nominal part in a user news feed”. Hence, they don’t feel liable to pay a hefty amount to Australian news companies.
In a statement, they stated, “If there were no news content available on Facebook in Australia, we are confident the impact on Facebook’s community metrics and revenues in Australia would not be significant,”
This came as a threat from Facebook. Hence, could be an indication to boycott Australian news companies.
Further, they stated: “Given the social value and benefit to news publishers, we would strongly prefer to continue enabling news publishers’ content to be available on our platform,”
During these critical times, news industries are facing tough times. Most of the news industry across the globe has lost its advertisement revenue in print media. This was the most effective source of income for news industries. Many of the print newspapers were surviving on this resource of earning.
Looking at the critical condition of news companies, the Australian government intervened. They asked Google and Facebook to pay for the news content from the Australian news companies, which they share on their platform.
However, Nine Entertainment and Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, are two of the Australian biggest media companies who are pushing this issue.
According to them, the financial crisis that News industries are suffering is due to the tech giants like Facebook, Google and other similar firms. They state that most of the advertisement revenue is digested by these tech firms and News industries are suffering severely due to this by gaining nothing.
As stated, coronavirus caused bankruptcy, in the news organizations. Several print editions had to close their shops.
Even in Australia, every major media house fired employees to save cost. Nearly 170 newspaper and newsroom shuttered or got suspended.
The ACCC, Australian’s competition regulatory, calculated that Facebook and Google combined earned around 6 billion Australia dollar(4 billion US dollar) in a year from advertising in Australia.
In a fair deal, leading newspapers demand at-least 10% of that amount to be paid to them each year.
Last year, this demand was rejected by Google by stating that they earned 10 million Australian dollars a year only by the news linked advertisement.
The two media companies are strongly relying on the facts presented by the ACCC. Also, the ACCC is hoping to find a resolution to this situation.
The ACCC aims to find a common ground between tech firms and media houses. It aims to establish a “Code of conduct” to help the two in curbing disinformation, sharing revenue, protecting user privacy and sharing data.
The ACCC is instructed to resolve this by the end of July. As soon as ACCC find a resolution, the Australian government will implement the final code.