Media Release

Free TV welcomes first steps towards fair payment for news content

Free TV Australia today welcomed the release of the exposure draft of the legislation that will ensure that Google and Facebook pay for the news content surfaced on their platforms as a significant and positive development.

Free TV Chief Executive Officer, Bridget Fair, said: “The important principle being recognised here is that our news content has significant value and that Google and Facebook should be required to pay a fair price for it.

“The reason this legislation is necessary is because neither Google or Facebook were prepared to genuinely negotiate a reasonable payment for their use of our news content on key services such as Google Search, Facebook Newsfeed or Instagram.

“We are pleased that the ACCC has recognised that without an external driver to reach agreement or to break a deadlock, the digital platforms are unlikely to change their approach to making fair payment for news.

“The algorithm transparency and anti-discrimination measures, together with the substantial penalties for breaching the Code, are a vital protection against punitive responses by Google or Facebook.

“We will take our time to work through the full detail of what the ACCC has released and look forward to working with the ACCC and the Government to refine the draft legislation to ensure that it achieves its intended purpose,” Ms Fair said.

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