Google might withdraw its search engine in Australia if the Australian government would continue its plan to tell online tech companies to pay for hosting their news content.
ACCC (Australian Competition and Consumer Commission), began an obligatory code of conduct related to the News Media Bargaining Code to label Google and Facebook which are a part of Australian News Media Business and digital markets. As yet, the government of Australia has stated that the code which was begun by ACCC would not be appliable to any other organization except google and Facebook. In case, the other companies grasp a consequential power imbalance of bargaining with News Media Businesses of Australia then, the code will also be applicable to that company or organisation as well.
A debate in the Parliament of Australia is on, which will require the two companies to involve into the payment arbitration with the companies of media to use their contents on their sites, with a mandated judge to make the decision. This means that if the event cannot be reached on a decision, the judge will make an agreement.
Against the legislation, the e-companies have been pushed back and the whole world is watching the fight, given the outcome could have across geographies, including India. With a bit of success in North Korea, a template has been rolled out and there is a renewed focus on the template.
Nearly, four years before, Naver was one of the most famous news sites and had a widespread presence as a search engine in the South Korean region. It had carved out the unfamiliar model on working with new publishers of Korea- appoint around 125 outlets as “Naver’s news in link partners”, and give them money for the number of stories uploaded on Naver. around 500 news channels are unpaid “news partners” with Naver. The total amount of payout in 2017 was $40 million.
A lot of the news outlets were not complacent with their share of payout under this model as it was not a perfect one. Moreover, recently there has been a dispute over the declaration that the news site, Naver, influenced the ranking of articles condemnatory of the top football association of South Korea on the latter’s requisition.
The Tussle between Australia and Google & Facebook
Australian users could be banned from sharing news and posting news links on Facebook if the offered norms on royalty payments were put into functioning.
In Senate hearing in Canberra on last Friday, the people who represented their technical majors arrived. They debated that the industry of media was already getting advantage from the traffic routed to them by e-platforms and that the proposed rules would expose them to “unmanageable levels of financial and operational risk”.
How did the firms respond everywhere else?
Facebook is formulating plans to launch a new tab feature in the United Kingdom in tie-ups with The Guardian, The Economist and The Independent. Google is rolling out “Google News Showcase”, its news offering platform.
In December 2020, Google had declared that it would “soon start offering people access to paywalled content in partnership with select news publishers”. It had said, for providing limited access to paywalled content to the News Showcase users, it would pay to the involving partners.
For the use of Google’s e-content, the France News Publications will get wages from the company. A French News organization (The Tech Major and APIG) said after a long time of discussion in a joint statement, both the French groups had agreed on the principles on which all the news organization will be paid for uploading or sharing their matter on google e-platforms.
Firstly, Google responded to France to which has been embracing the copyright rules of the European Union to ban the showcase of news snippets, in October last year, until the corporation of France entered. In Spain, Google also pulled the plug on its google news showcase after the paying to the news publications become compulsory.
But what is the underlying issue?
Just hours before daring Australia to remove its search engine from the country, Google entered into a pay agreement to give wages to the news publications in the country of France. The issue isn’t just around the payment bills that Google would have to encash but more or less about the controls and authority that Google would have to sacrifice in Australia. The main fight in Australia is on the basis on how much organizations will have control on their payout processes-additional aspects like to make changes in their algorithm and deciding the number of payments which they have to pay to the news feed sources. Moreover, as an added up problem is the hefty fines presented by the Canberra.
Unlike Naver’s largely discretionary action in Korea, there is no denying that the difficult actions taken by the managers have been after the moves by Google and Facebook to introduce its new features in their e-platforms.
Without making any force to put in a legal agreement, European authorities have linked the payments into the copyright. Code of Australia have violent features and this code majorly focuses on the power of bargaining of news outlets like tech majors. The power equations between the new tech platforms and the traditional platforms which are from a long time dominated by the tech giants. This is more of a competition of issue; these platforms are making questions of abuse of dominance.
The competition manager of Australia has warned Facebook and Google that the planned law to pay to the news publications to share the content on their e-platforms is just the start of regulations for digital platforms. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission Chairman Rod Sims said: “This bargaining code is a journey, if we see market power elsewhere, we can add them to the code.” The competition watchdog FCA of France had issued strictures last year to the large technical organizations. Google to withdraw its news snippets, FCA had considered it as an unfair practice and constitute it as the dominance of abuse.
What is the situation in India?
The two e-platforms which are positioned in a way that the service providers can only reach to their customers only via the platforms. In India, the policymakers focused on the dominance of intermediaries such as the two platforms. All these fights in Australia could affect broader implications of the digital markets of India in the long-term situation. Making it quintessential for the Indian government as well to hold a meeting to discuss the power and presence of these dominant tech giants.