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Comms Minister Hails Move To Force Google To Pay For News

CANBERRA: Australia’s Communications Minister Paul Fletcher has said he is confident that Google will be forced to pay Australian publishers for re-broadcasting their news content, which the US-based company – among many others – has been doing for years.

Fletcher was commenting on a move by French officials to order Google to negotiate with French publishers for the right to rebroadcast their content.

“The fact that the French competition regulator is going through a similar process just tends to underline the importance, from a competition perspective, that the digital platforms properly pay for content that’s been generated by media companies that costs money to produce,” Fletcher told The Australian – which, like other Australian news sources, could expect to gain large sums if Google can be forced to the negotiating table.

“The social media platforms are unavoidable commercial partners for the big media businesses, and there needs to be a way for there to be fair payment,” Fletcher said.

French authorities have said that, by refusing to pay publishers without taking into consideration their individual circumstances, Google may have been guilty of discriminatory practices.

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