Australia’s news media bargaining code

Synopsis – Australian government proposed a bargaining code. This code has provisions to compensate media companies for using their content.


  • Australia’s recently proposed News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code Bill 2020.
  • The law would make technology platforms like Google and Facebook pay media publishers. The payment will be made for using their news content by social media platforms and search engines.
  • As per News agencies,  internet companies became wealthier at their expense by selling advertising linked to their reports, without sharing revenue.
  • Google accounts for 53% per cent of Australian online advertising revenue and Facebook 23%.

Why this proposed law is justified?

  • First, power imbalance – Australian government intended to curb the financial imbalance between multibillion-dollar internet companies and news organizations
  • Second, negotiating power- The law will give individual publishers more negotiating leverage with internet giants.
  • Third, these provisions are not new. In France, Google was forced to negotiate with news agencies for reusing their material online under a neighbouring rights’ law.

However, many experts believe otherwise:

  • The proposed code is against the principles of an open Internet.
  • The new law is a result of pressure from powerful media agencies such as Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp.

Way forward-

The proposed law is an Australia Government’s effort to ensure that its economy is able to take full benefits of the growth of digital giants. By that, it is also protecting its news media houses. Other governments can also learn from Australia’s approach.


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