The Prime Minister of Australia has shot back at Facebook for threatening to shut off news on its platforms in Australia, in a retaliatory attack on a new regulatory code that would force it and Google to pay publishers for content.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison says “he did not respond well to coercion.”
In a media statement released yesterday, he warned, “I would encourage them, very strongly, to work constructively and co-operatively with the process that is under way.”
He compared Facebook’s threats with the move by Amazon to block Australians from its US store in response to the government’s decision in 2018 to charge GST for international online purchases.
He reminded Facebook, “I remember Amazon said to me: ‘Well, we’re not going to pay this tax’ when it comes to the low value threshold. They threatened to pull Amazon, and they did, and they were back three months later.”
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) unveiled the draft code in July, which proposes to make global tech giants pay news media for content through an arbitrative model.
It will also force the companies to give media organisations advance notice of algorithm changes.
Failure to comply could result in the tech giants paying up to 10% of local revenue in fines in addition to payment of publishers for content.
Legislation enabling the code is due to go before Parliament by December.
According to the Sydney Morning Herald, “Google has also condemned the code as unworkable, and has asked users to complain to the government about the proposal.”
Picture credit: Gangster Paradise App
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