The Australian government introduced a bill last month that will force companies such as American technology giants Facebook and Google to pay Australian local media organizations for news content.
Australian media said that there had been no similar law in the world before.
The U.S. government asked Australia to abandon the plan on the 18th, saying that the bill would have a “long-term and lasting negative impact” on consumers and companies.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation on the 19th, in an opinion to the Australian Parliament, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative called the legislation a “trouble-making” plan, accusing Australia of “intentionally targeting” when the two American companies “did not violate the existing laws of Australia or cause market failure”.
The opinion stated, “The U.S. government is concerned that this attempt will have harmful consequences – [Australia] has obviously harmed the interests of the two American companies by passing legislation to regulate the competitive position of specific players in the fast-growing digital market.” The U.S. government also “threats” that it “may raise concerns about Australia’s international trade obligations”.
The United States Protests the Australian Government’s Bill to “force Google Facebook to Pay”: It’s a “trouble-seeking” plan
Australian Treasury Secretary Freidenberg responded to the U.S. position on the 19th that the Australian government will continue to promote mandatory norms that can solve the inequality in bargaining power between digital platforms and media companies.
The Sydney Morning Herald said on the 19th that the Australian government believes that Facebook and Google have seized the living space of local traditional media.
According to the survey data of the Australian Competition and Consumer Council, for every 100 Australian dollars spent on online advertising in the country, 53 Australian dollars were taken away by Google, 28 Australian dollars were put into Facebook’s pocket, and the remaining 19 Australian dollars belonged to local media.
The bill is currently under consideration by the Economic Committee of the Senate of the Federal Parliament.