March 2, 2021


Australia passed a new law on Thursday, which was monumental in the country, and hurt Facebook and Google. Australia’s battle with Facebook and Google led the country’s government to pass a law that will debilitate these tech conglomerates.

The law will force Facebook and Google to pay a fee for news content in the country.

Australia’s New Legislation

The new measure in Australia did not please Facebook and Google, which are forced to pay journalism outlets to utilize their content on the platforms.

Facebook and Google did not receive this proposal well. However, Australia lightened its original plans to give the media conglomerates more bargaining power.

The bill passed with ease in the Australian parliament. The bill passed the final stage of the legislative process on Thursday as a series of amendments.

Australian lawmakers clarified that these laws are meant to level “the bargaining power imbalance” for Australian social media.
Facebook and Google have the upper hand in the laws, but this is a landmark legislative decision because Aussie lawmakers attempted to contain two media giants. In the United States, Google and Facebook have been allowed to run wild with little regulation.

Facebook and Google will have to reimburse news outlets for their media sources. News outlets were losing their desire to produce journalistic pieces because Facebook and Google received all the benefits in Australia.

This bill hopes to continue journalistic passion in Australia. The Australian government wants media outlets to continue producing content, and they also wish citizens continue consuming the pieces.

Facebook and Google Threats

When these laws were being proposed and negotiated, Google and Facebook threatened the Australian parliament. Facebook blocked all news on its platform in Australia for five days.

This move backfired on Facebook’s end because it caused outrage in the country and the government.

The blackout caused the parliament to have a stronger desire to pass the amendments. Google made threats to shut down its entire search engine in Australia if the proposal was enacted. This halt did not come to fruition as Google took a different approach.

The search engine began making deals with Australian news outlets to negotiate pricing following Facebook’s decision to blackout media. Google made this decision knowing that the law was inevitable following Facebook’s temper tantrum.

Technological Compromises

Google and Facebook are mighty, so the company leaders were able to state their opinions to the Australian government. Facebook was more influential in the compromise between Australian leadership and the tech companies.

A deal was made, and Facebook removed its media ban. Currently, Facebook and Google are not subject to any specific monetary amounts as long as they make a significant contribution to Australian journalism.

The two companies will be given an extended period to negotiate specific contracts with Australian journalism platforms. If they cannot agree, the negotiation process will move into a period of arbitration.

Even though this could be a timely process, the Australian government still accomplished its goal of containing tech conglomerates operating in the country.

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