Quite simply: Tech giants v regulators

Quite simply: Tech giants v regulators

The Australian Parliament is debating legislation that would require Google and Facebook initiate payment negotiations with media companies for the use of their content, with an arbitrator mandated to rule in the event that an agreement cannot be reached.

Internet companies have pushed back the legislation – and the fight is being watched around the world, given the impact the outcome could have across geographies, including India. Emphasis is also renewed on a model that has been deployed with some success in South Korea.

Almost four years ago, South Korea’s most popular Naver news site and the biggest search engine, had developed an unusual model for working with Korean news publishers – designating some 125 outlets as “Naver News in-link partners ”, and pay them for articles published on Naver. Another 500 odd news outlets are unpaid “research partners”. The total payout was over $ 40 million in 2017.

Although it may not be the perfect model – news points of sale are generally not satisfied with their share; In addition, there has recently been controversy over allegations that Naver manipulated the ranking of critical articles from the main South Korean football association at the latter’s request – the model remains operational in a country where nearly 85 % of the population accesses. news online.

The fight in Australia

Google last week threatened to pull its search engine out of Australia. Facebook said it could prevent Australian users from posting or sharing news links whether the proposed standards on royalty payments have been implemented.

Representatives of the tech majors appeared at a Senate hearing in Canberra last Friday. They argued that the media industry was already benefiting from the traffic routed to them through digital platforms and that the proposed rules would expose them to “unmanageable levels of financial and operational risk”.

The response of companies elsewhere

Bloomberg and some other media have reported that Facebook plans to launch its news tab (available in the US since 2019) in the UK, with likely links to The Guardian, The Economist and The Independent. And Google is deploying its news offer platform, Google News Showcase.

These two platforms aim to formalize payment pacts with news electrical outlets. In a statement last week, Google said that News Showcase: which includes story panels that allow participating publishers to group articles that appear in Google news products – has more than 450 publications in a dozen countries, including Le Monde, Le Figaro and Liberation in France; El Cronista and La Gaceta in Argentina; TAG24 and Sachsische Zeitung in Germany; and Jornal do Commercio de Pernambuco in Brazil.

Google had announced in December 2020 that it would “soon start offering people access to paid content in partnership with select news publishers ”. He had said he would pay participating partners to provide limited access to paid content for News Introduce the users.

Last Thursday, Google announced that it would pay news publications in France for the use of their online content. The major tech and APIG, a French news media group, said in a joint statement that after months of talks they had agreed on the principles on which news publications should be remunerated for the distribution of their content on Google platforms.

However, Google’s first response to France’s adoption of EU copyright rules was to stop posting news snippets – until the French competition regulator intervened, in October of last year. Google has also removed its Google listing News…

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