Australia: Facebook and Google Will Not Be Allowed to Kill News

April 20, 2020

Australia to Force Technology Giants Facebook and Google to Pay for News Content” expresses something News Corp’s Rupert Murdoch has long desired: Money for real news.

The write up reports:

Social media giants Facebook and Google will be forced to pay Australian media companies for sharing their content or face sanctions under a landmark decision by the Morrison government. The move comes as the media industry reels from tumbling advertising revenue, already in decline before the Covid 19 coronavirus outbreak collapsed the market.

Several questions may soon be answered:

  • Will Facebook and Google tie up the “pay for news” effort in the courts?
  • If the invoices are sent, will Facebook and Google pay them or seek to stall, negotiate, or just ignore blandishments?
  • Will the law cause Facebook and Google to set up their own news gathering operations and subsidize them via ad revenue; that is, reinvent traditional news. (Remember: Apple and Google have teamed up to deal with coronavirus. The “pay for news” effort may force a similar shotgun marriage.)
  • Will other countries like members of the Five Eyes, get with this “pay for news” program?

Net net: Facebook and Google face a management moment that could become “real news.”

Stephen E Arnold, April 20, 2020

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