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Govt. Mulls Weaker Tech Giant Rules For Aussie Publishing

CANBERRA: Fierce lobbying by Google and Facebook has led the Commonwealth Government to consider weakening new rules designed to force the tech giants to pay news publishers.

Google and Facebook have aggressively lobbied the government to make extensive changes to its draft news media bargaining code, according to a Sydney Morning Herald report.

It says Google has been asking for a “two-way value exchange” while Facebook has hired Scott Briggs and David Gazzard, both friends of Prime Minister Scott Morrison, to lobby for changes on its behalf.

The code, now being created by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, aims to force the tech giants to strike commercial deals with news publishers.

Google and Facebook have described it as “unworkable”. They complain the code is “one-sided”, assumes that they derive value from news on their platforms, and does not take into account referral traffic they send publishers.

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