Free TV Australia today welcomed the Government’s decision to make Google and Facebook pay for the media content used by their platforms through a mandatory Code of Conduct.
Free TV Chief Executive Officer, Bridget Fair, said: “It has been clear from very early on that negotiations for a voluntary Code of Conduct were essentially a delaying tactic for the digital platforms in the hope that these issues would blow over.
“Today’s decision is groundbreaking and we are grateful to the Morrison Government for their commitment to ensuring that Australians will continue to have access to quality Australian content.
“Google and Facebook derive huge value from the news and premium content generated by Free TV broadcasters, but their extreme market power means they don’t pay a fair price for it. The serious impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the Australian media sector has made the case for Government intervention crystal clear.
Commercial broadcasters are currently experiencing tectonic forces pulling in opposite directions – record numbers of viewers tuning in to a trusted free service and at the same time a huge hit to their ability to pay for the content viewers value so highly. And the inability of Australian media companies to negotiate fair value for their content with global digital platforms is a big part of that equation.
“The mandatory Code is a crucial step forward for Australian media and more importantly for the millions of Australians who want their local broadcast services to provide them with trusted news and shared entertainment experiences.
We look forward to working with the Government and the ACCC to ensure that a Code is in place as soon as is possible,” Fair said.
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