Breaking News
Get Actionable Insights with InvestingPro+: Start 7 Day FREE Trial Register here
Investing Pro 0
Ad-Free Version. Upgrade your experience. Save up to 40% More details

Australian publisher calls government on Facebook, regulator concerned

Stock MarketsOct 25, 2021 09:21
Saved. See Saved Items.
This article has already been saved in your Saved Items
© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration

By Byron Kaye

SYDNEY (Reuters) -A small Australian publisher is calling for the government to enforce a new law to compel Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) to negotiate a content deal, prompting the architect of the rule to say he was "concerned" about the social media giant's behaviour.

The petition by academic publisher The Conversation, emailed to its readers at the weekend, reflects a groundswell of disquiet among smaller Australian outlets who have not reached deals with Facebook, as mandated by the new law.

The U.S. internet giant and Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Inc's Google have been required since March to negotiate with Australian outlets for content that drives traffic, and advertising, to their websites. If they don't, the government may take over the negotiation.

Most large media companies like News Corp and the Australian Broadcasting Corp have struck deals with both companies, but some independent outlets like The Conversation - as first reported by Reuters - say they have been unfairly spurned.

"The Conversation should not be treated differently to other media outlets," the publisher's editor, Misha Ketchell, said in the email to readers, seen by Reuters. "We do not want to let Facebook off the hook," he added, calling for readers to sign a petition and write to their local member of parliament demanding Facebook be "designated" for intervention.

Facebook denied the allegations.

"To date, we’ve signed commercial deals that will support more than 200 newsrooms across the county," Mia Garlick, Director of Public Policy, Facebook Australia and New Zealand, told Reuters.

"In addition, we're establishing a fund with Country Press Australia to support digital transformation of regional newsrooms and we have already announced our $15 million Australian News Fund which provides dedicated funding to independent, digital and smaller newsrooms."

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg, who ultimately decides whether intervention is needed, said the government "expects all parties to work constructively towards reaching commercial agreements in the spirit of collaboration and good faith encouraged by the code".

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chair Rod Sims, who oversaw the design of the News Media Bargaining Code, said the system had been successful but singled out Facebook's refusal to negotiate with The Conversation and foreign language broadcaster SBS for concern.

"Google is still negotiating and finalising deals with more news media companies and seems to be approaching this exercise in the right spirit," Sims said in a statement.

"We are concerned that Facebook does not currently seem to take the same approach."

A planned federal government review of the law next year would "examine closely the performance of all parties and whether the government's expectations have been met," Sims added.

The Conversation's petition had collected 7487 online signatures by late Monday in Australia, and the publisher said it planned to deliver the total result to the treasurer in March 2022, when the review is scheduled to begin.

Australian publisher calls government on Facebook, regulator concerned

Related Articles

Add a Comment

Comment Guidelines

We encourage you to use comments to engage with users, share your perspective and ask questions of authors and each other. However, in order to maintain the high level of discourse we’ve all come to value and expect, please keep the following criteria in mind: 

  • Enrich the conversation
  • Stay focused and on track. Only post material that’s relevant to the topic being discussed.
  • Be respectful. Even negative opinions can be framed positively and diplomatically.
  •  Use standard writing style. Include punctuation and upper and lower cases.
  • NOTE: Spam and/or promotional messages and links within a comment will be removed
  • Avoid profanity, slander or personal attacks directed at an author or another user.
  • Don’t Monopolize the Conversation. We appreciate passion and conviction, but we also believe strongly in giving everyone a chance to air their thoughts. Therefore, in addition to civil interaction, we expect commenters to offer their opinions succinctly and thoughtfully, but not so repeatedly that others are annoyed or offended. If we receive complaints about individuals who take over a thread or forum, we reserve the right to ban them from the site, without recourse.
  • Only English comments will be allowed.

Perpetrators of spam or abuse will be deleted from the site and prohibited from future registration at’s discretion.

Write your thoughts here
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Post also to:
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Thanks for your comment. Please note that all comments are pending until approved by our moderators. It may therefore take some time before it appears on our website.
Are you sure you want to delete this chart?
Replace the attached chart with a new chart ?
Your ability to comment is currently suspended due to negative user reports. Your status will be reviewed by our moderators.
Please wait a minute before you try to comment again.
Add Chart to Comment
Confirm Block

Are you sure you want to block %USER_NAME%?

By doing so, you and %USER_NAME% will not be able to see any of each other's's posts.

%USER_NAME% was successfully added to your Block List

Since you’ve just unblocked this person, you must wait 48 hours before renewing the block.

Report this comment

I feel that this comment is:

Comment flagged

Thank You!

Your report has been sent to our moderators for review
Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.
Continue with Google
Sign up with Email