Govt continues to draft bargaining code and ‘won’t be dissuaded by Facebook’s threats’

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Communications Minister Paul Fletcher says the Australian government won’t allow threats from global tech companies dissuade it from considering the ACCC’s recommended draft news media bargaining code.

Facebook has threatened to ban Australian users and publishers from sharing news stories in a bid to avoid paying for news under the draft news media bargaining code.

The government announced they were seeking to make giant tech companies like Google and Facebook compensate Australian media companies for content published on the platforms.

Facebook warned if the draft code became law, they would "reluctantly stop allowing publishers and people in Australia from sharing local and international news" on both Facebook and Instagram.

Commenting on Facebook’s recent statement, Mr Fletcher said it was important to remember the Facebook business model operated by attracting people to their site and monetising on the advertising revenue.

“But if they’re using content generated and paid for by Australian news media businesses to attract those eyeballs to the sites, then there ought to be a commercial negotiation,” he said.

Mr Fletcher said his advice to Facebook was to put forward their arguments to the government.

“Make your submissions, we’re happy to hear your views,” he said.

“We’ve got a clear direction, we won’t be dissuaded from that because of particular threats.

“Part of the process of having a draft code is so that you can receive comments from all stakeholders and weigh those up.”

Image: Getty
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