Tech giants made to pay for using news publishers' content

Australia's government is to make Google and Facebook pay local media organisations for their content.

In the latest twist in the debate over whether the tech giants are “unfairly benefiting from news articles that they link to”, the Australian government will force Google and Facebook to pay local media organisations for their content, says Mike Cherney in The Wall Street Journal.

While publishers have “long sought” compensation from Google and Facebook, which boost their own traffic by including news links, the tech giants have resisted paying for news content. They insist that publishers benefit by getting large amounts of traffic directed to them. Australia’s treasurer Josh Frydenberg (pictured) said the amount that the tech giants would be told to pay to local media organisations would be in the “millions of dollars”.

No wonder Australia has acted, says Jeffrey Goldfarb, for Breakingviews. After all, Google and Facebook account for “some 71% of spending in the $5.8bn online advertising market”, while the government has promised to help broadcasters and newspapers who are desperate for money. Still, the sums raised “probably won’t be enough” to save many “struggling” media companies.

And there’s always the possibility that Google and Facebook could simply “pull news content” from their Australian searches if the law required them “to pay for using it”, says Margaret Simons in The Guardian. After all, when Spain made payment compulsory, Google simply ended Google News for that country. However, with regulators across the world starting to work together it is hard to see how the tech giants can avoid agreeing a deal eventually.

Recommended

Passive investors beware: you may be dangerously overexposed to big tech stocks
Stockmarkets

Passive investors beware: you may be dangerously overexposed to big tech stocks

Most investors in index funds are likely to be dangerously over-invested in US stocks, and particularly in a few huge tech stocks. It’s time to think …
15 Feb 2021
Stockmarkets shrug off turbulence
Stockmarkets

Stockmarkets shrug off turbulence

Stockmarkets have hit their first bout of turbulence of the year, but most are clinging onto January’s gains.
4 Feb 2021
What’s in Biden’s global corporation tax proposals?
Global Economy

What’s in Biden’s global corporation tax proposals?

US president Joe Biden’s administration recently proposed a universal model for taxing global companies. Saloni Sardana looks at what's involved.
13 Apr 2021
Three ways to avoid a big Deliveroo-style flop
UK stockmarkets

Three ways to avoid a big Deliveroo-style flop

Deliveroo's IPO – the most exciting new stockmarket flotation for a generation – turned out to be a big flop. It needn’t have been, says Matthew Lynn.
11 Apr 2021

Most Popular

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it
Bitcoin

The bitcoin bubble will burst: here’s how to play it

The cryptocurrency’s price has soared far beyond its fundamentals, says Matthew Partridge. Here, he looks at how to short bitcoin.
12 Apr 2021
Central banks are rushing to build digital currencies. What are they, and what do they mean for you?
Bitcoin

Central banks are rushing to build digital currencies. What are they, and what do they mean for you?

As bitcoin continues to soar in value, many of the world’s central banks are looking to emulate it by issuing their own digital currencies. But centra…
8 Apr 2021
Four investment trusts for income investors to buy now
Investment trusts

Four investment trusts for income investors to buy now

Some high-yielding listed lending funds have come through the crisis with flying colours. David Stevenson picks four of the best.
12 Apr 2021