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ACCC Release Framework For Google & Facebook To Pay Oz Media For Content

The ACCC has released a draft mandatory code of conduct that would allow Australian media companies to bargain with Google and Facebook to quickly secure fair payment for news content.

“There is a fundamental bargaining power imbalance between news media businesses and the major digital platforms, partly because news businesses have no option but to deal with the platforms, and have had little ability to negotiate over payment for their content or other
issues,” ACCC Chair Rod Sims said.

“In developing our draft code, we observed and learned from the approaches of regulators and policymakers internationally that have sought to secure payment for news.”

Under the draft code, if the news businesses and the digital platforms cannot come to some agreement through a formal three-month negotiation and mediation process, than an independent arbitrator would choose which of the two parties’ final offer is the most reasonable within 45 business days.

This process aims to ensure disagreements about payment for content are resolved quickly.

“We wanted a model that would address this bargaining power imbalance and result in fair payment for content, which avoided unproductive and drawn-out negotiations, and wouldn’t reduce the availability of Australian news on Google and Facebook,” said Sims.

The ACCC will be holding further discussions as they finalise the details of this framework. Consultation on the draft code will take place August, with the code set to be finalised shortly thereafter.

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